Curiosity – How to Be the Best Marriage Partner _ Ryan Therapy

Curiosity: How to Be the Best Marriage Partner

Practice #2 of 6 Core Practices to Create a Healthy Marriage

Discover why curious people make the best marriage partners.

My ebook, Transform Your Relationship: 6 Core Practices to Create a Healthy Marriage, details essential practices you and your partner can work on to strengthen your connection and build a better relationship.

The second practice I write about in the ebook is Curiosity.

Curiosity Brings Vibrant Energy

Curious partners bring a vibrant energy to relationships. Showing interest, asking questions, acknowledging changes, all translate into an aliveness and a vitality.

Passion and desire are fueled by aliveness and vitality. Therefore, when partners show curiosity, it creates an experience of being desired and wanted, which then creates deep connection.

Change is Inevitable

Change is a part of life. It is a law of nature. Everything changes. We change. We evolve. Life experiences shape us.

Why is it, then, that we often show so little curiosity about those changes in ourselves and within our partner once we marry or settle into a significant, committed relationship?

One Marriage, Many Partners

If we are lucky, one marriage will result in having many different partners over a lifetime, and we will be awake enough and curious enough to see that.

What I mean by “one marriage, many partners” is that when we start our lives with someone, we create, in our mind’s eye, an image of who they are: their values, their interests, their identity.

As our lives together progress and unfold, we grow and evolve. The natural rhythm of change inevitably influences us.

Even though its inevitable and natural, we tend to resist change and often choose to be blind to it in our partner.

Resisting and ignoring how change shows up in our marriage keeps us unhealthfully focused on the original image we created of our partner long ago.

Holding onto that original image, dims our curiosity. It is replaced by lots of assumptions, and the idea that, we know everything there is to know about our partner.

If we already know everything, then there is nothing else to learn or discover.

Change Throughout Every Aspect of our Lives

Change impacts every aspect of our lives.

  • Our professional identities evolve and deepen.
  • Becoming parents changes our world view.
  • Developing new interests push us out of our comfort zones and result in new action, behavior and ideas.
  • We may become more spiritual or less spiritual.
  • We experience pain and suffering, loss and illness.
  • We age. Our bodies change, our minds and thoughts change, our capacities to handle life’s challenges change.

Who we are on the first day of marriage, will not be who we are as we proceed in life, if we allow change to shape us, mature us and teach us.

And when we cultivate a curiosity and openness to exploring how change is organically moving through our partner and ourselves, our marriage and experience of intimacy thrives.

Curiosity: The Crucial Element for a Happy Marriage

If we recognize that our life experiences influence and inspire us to change and grow, then it stands to reason that being curious about how life continually influences us is crucial to nurturing our marriage.

When we are curious about how life is influencing us and our partner, we become open to learning new things, understanding each other more deeply and creating stronger bonds.

An openness and willingness to learn, cultivate dynamic understanding, and build strong bonds is the fuel for a vibrant, strong relationship that strengthens and thrives over time.

“The more we let love flow, the more we have to love”. Mark Nepo

Have you ever looked upon a river that is damned up? A river in which the flow is impeded by obstacles?

The water becomes muddy and filled with debris. It takes on an appearance of lifelessness. It looks unhealthy.

When you gaze upon a flowing river, it is clear, healthy, full of life. It has a vibrant energy.

The river’s health and energy comes from allowing change. The river absorbs and integrates its surroundings into its very being. It allows what is to change it, as it keeps evolving into a better version of itself.

It is the same with marriage. Our assumptions or what we think we already “know or understand” become obstacles to seeing our partner with clarity.

Our assumptions create stagnation. We think we heard it all, or know all the stories, or know our partner’s heart. This results in a muddied view and a lack of vitality; a lack of organic energy.

When we see our partner as untouched by life experiences, the lack of organic energy translates into a lack of erotic energy, a decrease in desire (emotional and physical) and an overall sense of being stuck.

Once we learn how to look with fresh eyes and practice “not knowing”, the energy begins to flow again. We show renewed interest and ask relevant questions that let our partner know we are curious about who they are as life unfolds.

Our relationship thrives with a fluid energy that keeps the spark of desire alive.

What Are You Afraid Of?

If you find yourself anxious in acknowledging that life changes and influences all of us, and that you may not be married to the same person you started with, it is worthwhile to explore that.

  • What is it that drives this anxiety or fear?
  • Are you afraid that if your partner grows and changes, they will no longer desire you?
  • Are you afraid that change will result in loss?
  • Are you afraid that you will no longer desire your partner if either one of you changes?

All of these questions are worth exploring. Our curiosity gets buried if we are afraid of change. It thrives when we embrace change.

Are you willing to let go of your fear of change and embrace it with curiosity?

Are you willing to accept that change can make us into a better version of ourselves?

Are you ready to accept that ignoring change creates stagnation and that leads to a relationship’s demise?

Are your ready to accept that embracing change leads to growth and passion and energized interest?

A curious partner is an alive partner. A curious partner contributes to creating an alive, dynamic and happy, healthy marriage.

I hope that you embrace your own curiosity or make the commitment to cultivate this quality more in yourself. When you do, you will be on your way to creating a healthy, vibrant marriage.

Peace on the journey,

Jane

 Practice #1 in Series  |  Practice #3 in Series  

 

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Jane Ryan

Jane Ryan, M.A., LMFT, is a Licensed Couple and Family Therapist with twenty years of clinical experience and a speciality in helping couples navigate the challenges of intimate relationships. Jane also has a sub-specialty of helping couples navigate the relational and sexual effects of breast cancer.