Notes taken by Bill Bergquist from the reflections offered during the Studio:
Successful long term intimate relationships require open space: a high level of acceptance (especially as members of the couple become fully acquainted with each other’s diverse styles, habits, aspirations, and feelings).
Members of a long-term couple might have to move beyond acceptance to forgiveness, as they come to recognize the way(s) they have made life more difficult for one another.
Those seeking a successful long term intimate relationship need to be aware of the expectations they place on the other member of the couple to meet their personal needs. Are the expectations realistic? Can you rely on your partner to meet all your needs?
It is important to be aware that roles can play people rather than people playing roles.
Many studies have shown that successful heterosexual relationships are found when wives are being listened to by their husbands (Carol Gillian’s In a Different Voice; Belenky et al. Women’s Ways of Knowing).
When there is a breakup (divorce) of a couple, we can expect a stage of mourning – for there is the death of the couple (as a third entity in the relationship). Other people associated with the couple (such as family members and friends) will resist the breakup and later mourn the death of the couple.