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 Healthy Relationships Aren’t For the Faint of Heart  

I was recently reading a little book by the marvelous writer Steven Pressfield.  The book is Do The Work! and it is about getting past resistance in the creative process.  He wrote another classic on the topic called The War of Art.  If you are interested in the creative process, I highly recommend him.  Why bring him up?  There was a marvelous little passage in Do The Work! that stimulated me to write this article.

Fear saps passion.


When we conquer our fears, we discover a boundless, bottomless, inexhaustible well of passion.

One of the things I often run into with couples is the experience that passion has drained out of their relationship and they can’t figure out how to get it back.  Often they are discouraged and think passion isn’t even possible. 

There are lots of things that contribute to the loss of passion in a relationship.  Relationships are living entities that need attention, feeding, nurturing and occasional fixing.  If we don’t do those things on a regular basis relationships start to wither and shrink.  The first thing that leaves is the passion. 

Fear also contributes to the loss of passion.  Fear of showing who we really are.  Fear of being rejected so not asking for what we want. 

Fear is also the biggest barrier to putting passion back into a lackluster relationship.  By the time I see most passionless couples they are discouraged and feel hurt and rejected.  They want the kind of passion and connection they used to have, or at least the kind they have dreamed of having, but feeling rejected they are also very motivated to not feel any more pain. 

They are afraid.  Afraid of more pain.  Afraid that if they hope for things to get better, if they hope for the relationship they really want, and they don’t get it, the disappointment will be too much to bear.  This kind of fear leads to paralysis, more discouragement and a further erosion of passion and connection in the relationship.

Healthy relationships aren’t for the faint of heart.  They require courage and the willingness to be fully yourself and be vulnerable with your partner.  Passion will not return to a relationship until you are willing to open up to the possibility, express yourself fully and ask for what you want.

In this first month of a New Year, let me encourage you to set a goal for yourself and your relationships.  Conquer fear.  Find those things that hold you back in relationship, learn to manage that fear for yourself, open up, and see what a marvelous benefit it brings you.