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5 Steps To Radical Acceptance

5 Steps To Radical Acceptance

Why you hold out on love.

Are you experiencing all the love you want?

Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love <== New Book on LOVE!

Is your heart ALL IN for love?

What is it about making a commitment to a relationship that gives some of us the willies? To my way of thinking, there are as many reasons as their are individuals who hedge their bets when it comes to being “all in.”

In large part, many of us were not securely “attachment parented.” So we don’t have the model for what love looks like. We sabotage our intimacy (consciously or unconsciously) when it comes to being “all in.”

Could you love MORE? Do you feel deeply loved?

No matter what the “reason,” holding back has a big impact on every aspect of a relationship, sex included.

Sure, in the early stages of a relationship when you’re essentially checking each other out, it’s natural and healthy to take your time going “all in.” But if the “checking out” is laced with judgment of the other person, the impact will be felt. That’s why I recommend you read Radical Acceptance by my friend, Andrea Miller if you’re not experiencing the love you want from your relationships

I didn’t know it at the time, but radical acceptance played a big role in the rescue operation that saved my marriage.

See, I was brought up by a mother who repeatedly told me: “Never trust a man. Always stay in control of your finances so you can get away whenever you want to.” I absorbed her belief and did as she’d advised when I married Tim. What I didn’t know then but understand now, is that my core relationship value is actually antithetical to my mother’s belief.

Beneath the fearful conditioning, I really wanted my man to take care of me, which included managing the finances. Security, including financial security is my #1 relationship value. I wouldn’t be in a relationship if I couldn’t have financial stability.

But having been spoon-fed feminist values, I couldn’t admit, much less accept my desire to have a man take care of me for many, many years into my marriage. Far from “all in,” I had one foot out the door much of the time.

It’s a bit paradoxical given that I recognized Tim’s business savvy very early in our relationship. Here was a guy with fiscal muscle who handled money with competence and ease. And yet, I couldn’t imagine merging our finances. “Get a joint checking account? Why in the world would I do that?” It took a long time for me to really examine this belief and even longer to accept that he wanted to manage the finances and actually enjoyed it.

We were eleven years into our marriage and in the midst of a 3-year rough patch, when I actually said to him: “I’m not sure if can stay with you. I want my husband to be financially successful so I can relax and know I’ll be safe.”

This added insult to an injury Tim was already suffering: our sex life was just plain dissatisfying. I’d become bored with sex and I couldn’t have orgasms from intercourse back then. Even having an orgasm at all required a lot of effort. Every now and then I’d give him “mercy sex” which didn’t help at all and made him feel even worse about the relationship, so he checked out emotionally. His motivation to take care of me was at an all-time low. It was a painful impasse neither of us could see our way through.

We were on the edge of divorce when we both realized that breaking up our family was not an option. At that point I said, “All right, I’m gonna have sex with you and try really hard to have orgasms.” It took some doing, but in time I was able to bridge the Orgasm Gap and really started to enjoy making love. Tim started to re-attach to me emotionally, but I still had a lingering fear that he wasn’t going to make enough money to keep me feeling secure.

I was 45 at the time and put him on notice, saying, “I’ll let you know by the time I’m 49 if I can fully commit to our relationship, and it hinges on whether or not you’re doing a good job taking care of me.” His anger at my lack of intimacy had driven a wedge between us. I let him know that school was still out for me on the matter, saying, “I don’t want you to think I’m completely committed to the marriage. I’m not.”

I realize that is a truly shitty thing to say. But one of Tim’s top four relationship values is honesty. He’d rather know I wasn’t “all in” than be blindsided if I decided to leave our marriage.

When I turned 49, it hit me: “Oh my god, did I really say that to him?” We’d just been through a financial disaster and were pulling up from the bottom after almost losing our house. We’d put ALL of our life savings into Personal Life Media. We literally couldn’t make the next house payment and we were so afraid our house wouldn’t sell. It did. Thank goodness. So like a lot of people we had to downsize. We moved to a less expensive town and rented while we figured out how to make our business support us.

It truly amazed me when I realized that I’d come to totally trust Tim with our finances. We had to hit bottom together for me to appreciate that if anybody could pick up the pieces and put us on solid financial ground, it was my darling husband with me 110% having his back. We’d finally become a team. Through thick and thin. Through all odds. Through near divorce. I was committed to him and had radically accepted our relationship for its good and bad times.

 

OUR WEDDING DAY

That’s when I said, “He’s my man, I’m all in. Whatever weaknesses he might have can be filled in with my strengths. We all have our foibles. We know what each other’s are, and I’m confident we can make this work if we stick together.” I let go of expecting him to do it all and took responsibility for doing my share to make us successful as a couple.

Finally, after 25 years of marriage, I have relaxed into our relationship. I am going to stick by him no matter what. Once I radically accepted him and myself for what we brought to the table as a couple, everything got better, and better and better.

As I hope you can see from my story of maturation, radical acceptance can work magic in a relationship. If you’re ready to fess up and acknowledge you’ve been holding out, read Radical Acceptance Read it even if you’re not committing to a relationship because, like unconditional love, radical acceptance is a precious gift to give and receive.

The Five Steps To Radical Acceptance For Happy, Lasting Love:

  1. Just Love Him (Or Dump Him)
  2. Stop, Reflect, Introspect: Get Outside Your Own Emotional Reactions
  3. Radical Communication: Creating A Safe Space To Be Heard and Really Seen
  4. Love All Of Him—Even The “Unlovable” Parts
  5. Apply the Platinum Rule And Make Him Your Priority

Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love <== New Book on LOVE!

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