Here's your Monthly Digest full of amazing Imago Relationships Blogs.
Discover why some couples thrive while working from home, explore neurodivergent marriages and how to love a partner with Autism, and learn the specific ways you can connect with your partner all year long. We've included a few bonus features below as well!
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On my first date with my husband — we've been partners now for 28 years – he asked me, "Are we on a date?" And the second date, he asked, "Are we still dating?"
I thought it was so sweet and endearing then. It took me nearly 17 years to realize what was going on was typical of someone with Asperger's syndrome (AS). The syndrome wasn't even a diagnosis back then. Today it is considered a high-functioning form of autism.
Aspergers presents in myriad ways, including an obsession with details, social awkwardness, a seeming inability to recognize others' feelings or reactions, and a flat, outward expression with few physical cues about what the AS person feels.
I had no clue about this when I fell in love with my husband. I just found his lack of drama and histrionics calming, a welcome relief from my own family's constant antics and manipulations. He balanced me nicely: I was outgoing and verbally engaging, and he was quiet with no problem of being alone. I was animated. He was peaceful.
It wasn't until we decided to move in together that I began to feel the tension around how truly different we were from one another. At the time, I had a dusty and cluttered little apartment. My husband had a big house with a living room that looked to me like a hotel lobby — Georgian-style chairs carefully chosen for their shape and upholstery, tables placed just so. He wouldn't allow me to put any of my stuff anywhere outside of a single room he had designated as mine … I wasn't allowed even to put a nail in a wall!
There is no perfect equation to what makes a couple deeply connected in their relationship. The myth that relationships are meant to be endlessly romantic and easy is simply that, a myth.
Couples may feel at times as though things are coming apart at the relationship seams. So, we've put together some practices to help re-inspire you and your partner to step into your relationship with intentional planning and mindful purpose to deepen and maintain a connected relationship all year long.
Increased Expectation + Decreased Support = Challenge!
This is a complex, infuriating, and worrisome time in history. Many people report that their mood is low, anxiety is increasingly high, and self-care is challenging. In turn, relationships are suffering. The connection between couples is suffering. Nothing could have prepared couples for how to cope with this period of history.
Meanwhile, all of the normal life challenges are ongoing, including work, parenting (homeschooling while trying to work!), caregiving others, loss and grief, birth, milestones, illness, and celebrations. Without the same accessibility to our regular support, we turn our energy toward our partner, both positive and negative.
We've all heard the saying that familiarity breeds contempt; it's sure not something we'd like to apply to our marriage and relationships. However, my guess is you've never been in a pandemic with your partner before.
Staying at home, living together, working together, day and night, with most likely tons of fear and uncertainty as the sky has been falling. What do we do when we feel irritated and triggered by our partner as we traverse these unknown times?
As my couples will tell you, one of the things I'm big on is getting couples to a place of zero tolerance for expressing irritation with each other.
What Does Zero Tolerance Look Like in a Relationship? Say NO to the following:
Expressing irritations are a major pollutant in your relationship. They are usually over small things that don't really matter in the big picture anyway.
- IRNA's Top Relationship Blog -10 Forms of Betrayal in Relationships That Can Be Damaging
- IRNA's Top Relationship Quiz - Is your Relationship Healthy?