I was going to blog about some of the particulars of an assignment that I worked on today, but instead I am going to have to think a little more about how much of them to post. It wasn't that I didn't have answers that made things difficult, or that I didn't want to explore the topics (most of them I have explored previously, but answers change over time), but rather that I had confidentiality concerns about many of them. I don't remember any assurances in this class- unlike any others I have taken in counseling or psychology- that my answers would be held in confidence exactly as if I were in a therapy session.
I am normally very open about most anything in my life- if you ask, I will probably share- but there are things and ways and then there is how one explores within oneself. I don't hide the truth, but I might not share the details in full.
There is a certain amount of angst in the primary relationship in my life. I wrote some bad poetry that is posted online on another page of mine, that expressed the state/stage of things, though not necessarily the emotions. Some of the answers for this assignment were difficult. But in the end, I also found some very positive things to say- but better yet, that I hadn't realized I felt. And that might just be a very good thing.
It is useful to explore the preconceptions and possibly even false notions about relationships, authentic love, intimacy, and identity. In long term relationships perhaps it is even more important from time to time to do it again, to make sure that one still understands these things and where things have changed.
A sampling of some of the questions from two chapters on love and relationships:
What did you learn about love in your family of origin?
How do you express your love to others?
How do you let another person know your own need to receive love, affection and caring?
It is worth it to love because-
List some of the meanings of love to you-
Think of someone you love. What specifically do you love about that person?
What are some of the ways in which you see yourself as evolving in your relationships?
Are you resisting growth and change by sticking with some old and comfortable patterns, even if they don't work? What are they?
How is the person with whom you are most intimate changing or resisting change?
Are you satisfied with the relationship you have just described? If not what would you like to change?
How did your family of origin deal with conflict? What did that teach you?
How do you deal with anger directed toward you?
How do you express your anger in your current relationships?
To what degree are you able to forgive yourself for any of your past regrets?
Complete the following:
To me, intimacy means-
The most important thing in making an intimate relationship successful is-
The thing I fear most about an intimate relationship is-
When an intimate relationship becomes stale, I usually-
One of the reasons I need another person is-
One conflict that I have concerning intimate relationships is-
In an intimate relationship it is unrealistic to expect that-
To me commitment means-
These are only a sampling of the ones I answered, but if you haven't considered them before, they are worth thinking about.
edited to add that the text and questions are from "I never knew I had a Choice", 7th ed., Gerald Corey, Marianne Schneider Corey, Wadsworth Group, 2002.