Three Phases of a Relationship | From Being Single to the Interpersonal Relationship | Smothering Relationship

Once upon a time you were single, you weren’t in a relationship, except with parents, siblings and friends. That was no big deal because it’s what you knew, it was your life. Then you reached an age where singular relationships became important. It could have been a one never-ending-long-term relationship or many interpersonal relationships until you found the right one. Of course, you may have been enlightened and lucky enough to have a bit of everything. A time being single, a series of off/on relationships, a long term relationship which was everything—affectionate, interpersonal, open, loving etc.

There are three phases to relationships—I call them being single, being smothered and being open.

Being SingleBeing Single

You know what being single is about. You may love it and stay that way all your life, others want a special connection and spend years looking. The diagram says it all, there’s distance between you and your special ‘someone’.

Being Smothered in the Smothered Relationship

You meet your mate. It’s amazing, the first months and years you’re both affectionate, do lovely, crazy, and mischievous things, live together, laugh and try to cry together, buy a home, children—all what society expects. Something happens though. Someone doesn’t pull their weight.

That’s why I call it smothering. There’s no room to breath. Essentially, what’s happening is your personal traits are flowing to the surface. Your personal traits are your rules  and values. Rules are almost hard-wired, they are difficult (but not impossible) to change. Your values, on the other hand, are chargeable. Although most of us find it stressful to change them. Changing values through our life helps us have a better life.

Back to being smothered. Is he smothering you or are you smothering him?

Look at the diagrams, which is you? Be aware, it doesn’t matter who’s smothering whom, who’s fault it is, who started it or who’s more vulnerable. You’re both responsible.

Most western relationships are in this phase and most either make it or they don’t, it depends on the companionship, strength and resolve of the participants.

Smothering Relationship Examples

Your view of being smothered may be different than these examples….

  • You’ve been married for years, there’s virtually no sex, little laughter or deep conversation,
  • You both occupy different bedrooms,
  • Your partner comes home, hardly says anything, goes into the back room (or TV room), leaving you with no one to talk to.
  • You’re the one who cooks most of the meals, organises the children, works, tired, worn out, and
  • When you say you’re going out with friends, your partner is either disinterested or tries to stop you.
  • You seem to be the one who has to organise outings, visits, holidays and the household finances.
  • Nothing is new or exciting any more and all you seem to do is work.
  • You and / or your partner drink excessive alcohol, smoke or one of you does drugs.

The Interpersonal Relationship : The Open Relationship

A couple of months ago, I met a client who has been through it all—two children, cheating, sociopath husband, divorced, and a few health issues. On meeting her, you would never know it. She’s vibrant, outgoing, cheerful and an absolute pleasure to be around. During the psychic readings (and now there have been a few), her life outlook is evident. She’s living her life to the fullest, and she’s out to enjoy it.

Years ago she decided that she could closet herself away, do her trade (personal development), chat to friends and family and generally be mundane and boring, or she could change. This woman took a leap. Her big leap was meeting a man who wanted an open relationship, so she went along with it. And it worked. In her work, she helps women through emotional crap. And as someone who had adapted to living in an open relationship, she started to help men connect with their wives and partners. What she does is talk candidly about sex. She’s even had sex with some of the men she’s helped. You, on first reflection, may judge my client. She’s got a track record of helping couples connect through talking to men who want to reconnect and communicate with their wives and partners.

The Open Relationship is Not Necessarily an Open Sexual Relationship

An open relationship is a communicative relationship. If you want a relationship like this you have to be prepared to dig down into your rules and values and be prepared to transform a rule or modify your values or even eliminate a value all together. This takes guts and willpower. My client had very strong rules about partnerships, and she freed herself up by eliminating that rule from her psyche. She does, however, have strong rules and values around cleanliness, openness, and honesty.

Total Connection

Take a look at the pic. We see a male and a female totally connected but not smothered. In this relationship there are strong values around communication and honesty. There are no secrets. There is nothing that says either partner must do ‘so-and-so’, each has freedom of choice in what they do and who they do it with.

How would you react if your partner wanted to travel away for a week with an attractive colleague or previous partner? Would you react? Become jealous, forbid it? What if it was the reverse. An old partner gets in contact on Facebook and want to meet for a meal. Would you tell your current partner?

An open relationship say’s “Do it……”. But communicate it.

In 2018 the SBS Insight program discussed ‘Open Relationships’. This program told the stories of a number of couples in open sexual relationships and how they worked on their relationships. I’m not saying you need to operate your relationship as an open sexual relationship. What you can do, is use the principles—communicate with your partner. Test each other, but do it with love, understanding, tact and without fear or trepidation.

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