Love Lingers Here: Intimate Enduring Relationships–VIII. Compatibility and Covenant

Love Lingers Here: Intimate Enduring Relationships–VIII. Compatibility and Covenant

Moore suggests that at these times the couple is doing “soul work.” Put in more secular terms, the couple is working through a complex issue that often triggers very deep feelings, old ghosts (both from their own relationship and relationships from their childhood) and ancient fears (only partially known or understood). Moore (1994, p. 29) suggested that “we may have to enter the confusion of [our partner’s] soul, with no hope of ever finding clarity, without demanding that the other be clear in expressing [his or] her feelings, and without the hope that one day this person will finally grow up or get better or express (himself or] herself more plainly.”

In this final stage, through the acknowledgement of one’s inability to fully understand someone who is deeply loved and through the acknowledgement of one’s own ignorance and continuing search for self-understanding, the covenant is re-invigorated and reestablished on the basis of “mutual vulnerability” (Moore, 1994, p. 30) along with mutual commitment to the relationship. The covenant becomes more explicit and discussable. A couple can appreciate the important role it has played in their shared life over the years, having often served as a guardian of their relationship. Yet, the covenant is now often set aside or at least supplemented with a more flexible and consciously negotiated set of statements about what each partner and the couple (as a separate entity) needs for personal nourishment and growth—as well as the nourishment and growth of the relationship.

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About the Author

William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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