With the holiday of Shavuot coming up, being known as the holiday the Jewish people committed to keeping the laws of the Torah (and for some a massive cheesecake fest), it got me thinking about the way  many of us commit to romantic relationships.

 As many of you know, when the Torah was offered to the Jewish people, we responded instantly without any hesitancy, “Naaseh, v’Nishma.” We will do and we will hear.”

In other words, we will do as we are told and find out the details later.

Sounds a bit nuts as this wasn’t a small matter to agree to. It begs the question, “What made the Jewish people so agreeable so easily, especially to something so hard? ”

When you think about the relationship between G-d and His people, from the time He performed the plagues…through to parting of the Red Sea and leading them to freedom…helping them survive in the desert by providing manna and water…saving them from various enemies, it actually makes sense.


Was the love between G-d and HIS People Taken for Granted?

G-d displayed an unwavering love towards HIS people. Why would the Jewish people think for a moment that the Torah would be anything but good for them? After all, when people are presented time and again with goodness, this builds feelings of trust. When we trust we feel less of a need to ask questions. We almost take it for granted that things will go smoothly over time.

The interesting thing that happens with romantic relationships is that many of us take a different tack.  Particularly once we’ve committed.

When you date you put your best forward and look for the good in the other.

Then, once you’ve committed, you become protective. We all do this. We become scared because it’s suddenly all becoming so real. You start to doubt whether you’ve made the right choice. If your partner doesn’t do what you want the way you want it, you get nervous. You start to think, what have I gotten myself into.

You think, “If they really knew me they would never do…” This is when self-doubt and arguments creep in.

It’s all very natural to get scared and doubt ourselves.

The problem is, when we don’t understand what’s fueling our negative behavior and causing a difficult dynamic in our encounter with our partner. If we don’t catch this early on, it becomes a part of our couple culture.

This is why I recommend to every couple getting ready to commit to do some couples work, right at the start.

By working on your relationship dynamic from the beginning, you’ll be able to learn about your triggers, what ignites and fuels them and how to defuse them and prevent causing a harmful if not deadly explosion.

While this sounds scary, and in some ways it should,  the beautiful thing about relationships is that there’s always the opportunity for what Sue Johnson, creator of the Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy method calls “The Repair.”

Even when a couple have had the biggest row you can imagine, when they remember how much they are truly committed to one another and can allow themselves to reach beyond their own pain and see that of their partner, this is when the couple magic occurs.

I’m so privileged to have been blessed to have been part of creating many repairs in my office and even in my own marriage.

The repair is what keeps things from hitting rock bottom completely and ending.

It also keeps the marriage from growing stale. The other wonderful thing about the repair, is that it can happen at any time over the course of a couple relationship.

Ideally this would happen sooner rather than later. And when you feel strongly connected and motivated!

If this is something you can relate to and your relationship needs a bit of a repair, but you can’t quite figure out what’s getting in the way, feel free to drop me a line @ mlavinpell@gmail.com. This is one of my specialties!!!



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