Men: If you want deep intimacy in your relationship, stop playing the victim and stop trying to “fix it.”
All relationships have friction – two opposing ideas that bump up against each other and create heat, tension, and discomfort. This is unavoidable in intimacy.
I’ve had countless times in my relational life where my immediate response to friction was to either ‘shut it down’ or ‘get the hell out of there,’
Thank Goddess, I’ve had intensive training in this and have learned how to practice through the friction….otherwise, I probably would have bailed on a number of uncomfortable situations with my partner.
Most guys go into one of these two modes when relationship friction comes up
They either try to completely avoid the friction because it’s emotionally overwhelming, so they:
- Shut down emotionally: Stop talking, become aloof and emotionally unavailable
- Get Angry: Fighting back to prove their point of view
- Distract: Change the subject or manipulate
- Passively Avoid: Retreating into personal projects, pretending there’s no issue
Or, they try to fix the friction (which is really just another way of avoiding it), so they
- Please: play small, buy gifts, apologize
- Find solutions: use logic, gather facts & figures, and analyze it to death
Any of these reactions can happen because our survival mechanisms kick in. Our childhood trauma gets triggered, and we go into ‘fight, flight or freeze.’We are afraid of being abandoned, so we abandon first.
So here’s the play:
A small tension arises with your intimate partner. Then, your old story gets triggered: “They are so demanding, I can’t deal with this bullshit, why am I in another situation like this?”
So, you move through the rest of your day living in your story while you feel uncomfortable about the tension in your relationship.
Men are trained to avoid emotional tension.
Another example might be: you’re late for your lovemaking date with your partner, and you don’t call or text.
This triggers a story within them about how they always get the short end of the stick, how their lovers don’t ever show up for them, that they don’t ever get enough.
They greet you at the door with: “You’re late! If I were important, you would have made it a priority to be here.”
The friction is on.
How do you respond?
An all-too-common thought process for men is: “there’s too much damn friction and drama here.”
It’s so ingrained, the idea that when an intimate partner is emotional, they’re just being dramatic.
So, when a small friction occurs, you go into the story:
“I shouldn’t have to put up with so much of this bullshit. This is not the kind of relationship I want to be in. They are just too much. Maybe I should just end this.”
Men, you have to remember that friction is a normal part of a healthy relationship. It’s how you relate to the issue that’s actually the issue.
Your longing for love and connection needs to be greater than your resistance to feeling friction with your partner.
Here’s the formula: Friction times Resistance = Relationship Dissatisfaction.
Remove resistance, and all you have is friction, and guess what? Friction is totally workable. Growth happens through friction. Open to it, invite it, work it, process it.
Relationship friction can be framed as an invitation into handling your issues.
If your partner sees you consistently taking responsibility for your own stuff and working your process, this builds the foundation of trust in the relationship. This allows for you to repair more quickly when rupture occurs.
A man’s depth of intimacy correlates directly with his capacity to be consciously present with his relationship friction.
Friction isn’t something to be avoided or to “fix” to make it just go away. Polarity and friction are essential components of sexual attraction.
Guys, ask yourself these questions as you’re sitting in your relationship friction today. Try dropping the story about it, and just open into a deeper presence.
Is there something I need to express that I’ve been avoiding?
What is this friction showing me about myself?
What insecurities are being revealed?
How can I increase my capacity to be present with friction?
Remember: this is an advanced teaching, and it’s not easy to do. If you find yourself failing at this repeatedly, that’s ok.
This is deep spiritual work, and it takes time. So be patient and loving with yourself in the process.