‘GETTING TO KNOW YOU’ Stages (Part 5)

PREVIOUS: Part 4 – Intensifying

❖SITE:  Irritable Male Syndrome

BOOK: Enlightened Marriage (downloadable) ˜~Jed Diamond

ACTS OF AFFILIATION ♥ (cont) indicated by Types of Communication

5. BONDING  (Long-term)
a. Normal:  The formalizing of the connection by a public ritual (a contract) whether by an engagement, a ‘moving-in-together’ party, a marriage, signing a lease, going into business together…..

“I think you’re wonderful.  I can see myself growing old with you.”  <> “Me too. Let’s move in together. We can talk marriage later”  •  “We’re in this together for the long haul” <> “I really want this to work!”

• The written or verbal contract is a framework for how the 2 want to & should proceed. In most cases this stage indicates a desire, need or willingness to gain social & institutional support — so the couple can rely on law, policy or precedent, when necessary

• Key points to maintaining a relationship from this stage onward, include : sharing power equally, emphasizing positive committedand constructive style of communication, and making frequent connections with one another
❣️ INTIMACY includes : a private world of rules & rituals, shared meanings, understanding & synchronous patterns of actions, similar ways of interpreting their world & agreeing on what makes their relationship work

• By this time the 2 people enjoy each others’ company, feel a deeper trust, comfortability, understanding & appreciation. Age is not a factor. It implies a genuine commitment to a common future & thus makes it harder to walk away from

• Successful long-term relationships also use ongoing ‘Navigation Communication’ to prevent problems, repair breaches, deal with the ups & downs of life & manage unpleasant surprises. People are willing to adjust, accommodate & compromise (not a dirty word) in order to maintain their unity

💔 However, this level sometimes changes the nature of the relationship & can cause it to disintegrate, especially if long-term spoken or unspoken expectations are not met

b. ACoAs: many do have long-term, formalized bonding, but even when there are good reasons to stay together, the relationship is often built on shaky foundations. EXP :

• reciprocal damage, where 2 wounded people fit each others WIC ‘needs’ – one pays the child, the other partner the mother or father role; one is controlling, the other passive; one is always angry, the other always fearful…personal development

• if only one person does healing work on themselves, they may be able to keep the dyad together, because of things they value in the relationship, AND because they’re not so reactive or wounded by the other person’s damage.
Also as they change, the old ‘games’ won’t work & the dynamic interactions will shift – often for the better

ideally, both people are willing to do Recovery work.  This may or may not save the relationship, but will of course greatly improve each individual’s life.
If there’s enough commonality between the partners (when the damage is lessened), the relationship can be re-built on a healthier foundation & grow into something precious!
OVERVIEW – Types of relationships

Source: “Relationship Typologies,” in The Cambridge Handbook of Personal Relationships 2006), pg 95. = C.A. VanLear, A. Koerner,  D. M. Allen

NEXT: Trying to leave #1

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