First Blog

Have you ever been in a relationship with little good-will towards each other. consequently
leading to misunderstandings which cause lots of anger, hurt, mistrust and conflict?

No matter how hard you both tried to work through the differences – the same old
misunderstandings & issues, keep ‘coming up’ and repeating themselves?

Its amazing how the same old misunderstandings, at the heart of repeated conflicts, are so
difficult to identify, let alone change, when in a relationship.

In the past I’ve found myself, saying to myself. ‘Huh?’ ‘How did you get THAT meaning from what
I just said?

Well, to be truthful. Years before that, I would be saying (Maybe in a loudish voice?) WTF!’ DID
NOT SAY THAT!’ DID NOT agree to this!’

‘THAT is not what I meant, when I said’

‘THAT is not what I meant when I agreed and you know it!’

Sound familiar?

After years of personal work and then training to become a Counsellor. it finally dawned on me
that even though we ostensibly speak the same language — Aussie English — AND we were
raised in the same culture.

We were speaking words that we assumed had the same meaning for both of us — WHEN THEY
DIDN’T!

Have you ever been in a relationship with little good-will towards each other, consequently
leading to misunderstandings which cause lots of anger. hurt. mistrust and conflict?

No matter how hard you both tried to work through the differences – the same old
misunderstandings & issues, keep ‘coming up’ and repeating themselves?

Its amazing how the same old misunderstandings. at the heart of repeated conflicts. are so
difficult to identify, let alone change, when in a relationship.

In the past I’ve found myself, saying to myself. “Huh?’ ‘How did you get THAT meaning from what
I just said?

Well, to be truthful. Years before that, I would be saying (Maybe in a loudish voice?) ‘WTF!’ ‘I DID
NOT SAY THAT!’ DID NOT agree to this!’

‘THAT is not what I meant when I said.’

‘THAT is not what I meant when I agreed and you know it!’

Sound familiar?

After years of personal work and then training to become a Counsellor. it finally dawned on me
that even though we ostensibly speak the same language — Aussie English — AND we were
raised in the same culture.

We were speaking words that we assumed had the same meaning for both of us — WHEN THEY
DIDN’T!

ASUMPTIONS

One of the surest ways to generate conflict. and cause pain & hurt in any intimate relationship.
is to assume our partner/lover has the same understanding of monogamy as ourselves.
Assumptions get us into trouble. When it comes to matters of the heart, assumptions can be
the cause of deeply traumatic betrayals and grief.

Not checking our assumptions about our foundational definition of relational monogamy &
fidelity, can lead to a great deal of hurt pain and angst When both parties assume they are on
the same page and so do not talk about what they see as ‘normal’.

In my own professional experience, from over twenty years of facilitating a large range of
groups for men. women. and couples. and in my practice as c relationship counsellor. The
group or counselling session, was often the first time members of a group, or of a couple, had
the opportunity to compare what monogamy meant for each of them.

Having been raised, educated and matured in this culture, I too had the same assumptions,
that my definition of monogamy & fidelity. was the same as everyone It did not need to be
expressed, it’s the same for everyone.

Being in these sessions and groups taught me clearly, that my definition was different to that
of many others. At times, was quite challenging to hove my firmly held ideas on monogamy,
challenged by the person. couple or group members in front of me.

So, I had to free up my thinking and expand the possibilities of meaning around monogamy,
fidelity and committed relationship.

ASSUMPTIONS NOT COMMUNICATED

Imagine partners ‘A’ & ‘B’ have entered a long term, committed, loving relationship with the
understanding, they are both monogamous and will not sleep with anyone else.

A pretty simple and normal arrangement.

Yet imagine, if partner ‘A’ has a great need for the attention of the opposite sex — in order to;
feel validated as sexual being. feel attractive. or wanted etc. So flirting. touching innuendo and
being in close physical proximity with an air of ‘l could be available for you’, is not only normal
for them It’s absolutely necessary for their self-esteem and self-image.

Now if partner ‘B’s’ idea of monogamy is that of not needing anyone else and being completely
exclusive – which includes: not flirting. hugging touching of any description. And portraying
themselves as being in committed romantic bliss.

These two individuals may have the beginnings of an ongoing challenge to overcome. It may
be that this behaviour pattern will then become a source of regular conflict and may even risk
the relationship – if the couple are not able to come up with some type of resolution.

ASSUMPTIONS NOT COMMUNICATED

Take a few moments to reflect upon the three points be ow, before reading the following
sentences:

  • ‘What does monogamy mean for me?’
  • ‘What exactly does it look like to for me to be safe to give my heart to another?’
  • What assumptions do I have around monogamy?
  • If you are single ask yourself ‘Do I even want to be monogamous in my next relationship?’

    ‘If I do, what does it look like?’

    What options do I have?

    To go deeper into the range of relationship options available today, please check this blog out.

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