Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Break Through

I am on the verge of a breakthrough in my understanding of life and my relationships with myself, my job, and my spouse. It all started with the idea in the previous post [Living Through]. In a long-term relationship, we do not start from perfection, we start from a reasonable match, and we work through difficulties in order to improve it little by little.

Here are more about the concept of ``differentiation'' from David Schnarch book, ``Passionate Marriage.''

Differentiation involves balancing two basic life forces: the drive for individuality and the drive for togetherness. Individuality propels us to follow our own directives, to be on our own, to create a unique identity. Togetherness pushes us to follow the directives of others, to be part of the group.  ...  Differentiation is your ability to maintain your sense of self when you are emotionally and/or physically close to others---especially as they become increasingly important to you. Differentiation permits you to maintain your own course when lovers, friends, and family pressure you to agree and conform. Well-differentiated people can agree without feeling like they are ``losing themselves,'' and can disagree without feeling alienated and embittered. They can stay connected with people who disagree with them and still ``know who they are.'' They don't have to leave the situation to hold onto their sense of self. ---pp. 55,56, Passionate Marriage

I feel this quote very deeply based on my experiences in the last couple of years.

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