Partner as child

The terrible tantrums and seemingly unannounced multitude of feelings that a child can produce can be seen as outrageously mean. However, as we meet them as adults where they are in their tantrum or feeling of hurt, we can see them as just how they are. We do not think that they are doing this on purpose towards us. Nor do we overreact and blame them in a never ending blame-game. No, we see that we are the adult and that they are the child that we can help and love. We do not take their behavior personally.

On the other hand, when a partner, a grown-up partner, reacts with feeling hurt or having a tantrum we become so enraged with them. Convinced that they do not help with the household chores simply to make us upset. When they didn’t answer the phone earlier on we believe immediately that they no longer want to talk to us. We turn every action from them into a thorn in the side from them towards us. That they maliciously and constantly are doing things to hurt us.

What is happening here?

Well, we are fast to draw up a few Stormy First Drafts and believe them without talking about them. We are also very fast to judge the partner. Without even knowing how they feel or why they have done the thing that upset us. We might even be heading for a new high score in arguments, fighting, ghosting, and other exercises of power that will not help our relationship at the moment.

What could happen instead?

If we could use the perspective that we automatically use when we are the adult around a child, and get to use it more automatically when we are around our partner too, a whole new way of relating might occur.
It doesn’t mean that you are infantilizing them. It would be more accurate to say that you are more generous towards them in the assumptions your brain is making. The Stormy First Drafts are not as frequent, nor do you instantly believe them. Instead you are able to see that your partner is a human just like you. With flaws and errors along the way.

Even when they lash out at you, and yes it most probably will happen. Remember that you only (or mostly) are able to let go fully when you are around people that you love, and that’s why you (probably) only lash out at home – towards your parents, siblings och partner.

So to sum up what you might do instead of your usual reaction towards your partner:

  1. Make the most generous assumption that you possibly can towards why your partner is doing what it is
  2. Use the muscle of compassion and give yourself and your partner plenty
  3. Take turns in being the parent if needed – it is good if both of you can master this skill

Suggestion from us

Find pictures of yourself and your partner from your childhood. Preferably from a young age, perhaps 3 or 4 or 5 years of age. Put them up on the fridge. Keep them as screen savers on the computer or phone. Or somewhere else where you will see the pictures frequently. We believe it is important to see you both. Not just your partner. But also yourself. You need to make generous assumptions towards you and your actions too.

When we were young…

The Lovers app – DIY therapy

Research has shown that it is possible to overcome problems without professional help. In the Lovers app we know that you are the real experts of your relationship. Mening that you have all chances to create a successful relationship of your own making.

The Lovers App might not work for everyone. If you are committed to the challenges, exercises and task that you will receive from us, you stand a better chance of course. But it might still not be enough. Professional help will always be available close to you. If you want to meet us, we are taking clients. We do however believe in this, the Lovers App. Please give it a go and try this DIY therapy for yourself, your partner and your relationship.

As a metaphor – when you want to get to a healthier lifestyle, eating less perhaps, or better, exercising more, or more often, you need to make a commitment, spend time, effort and ask for help to achieve these goals of yours.
The same goes for this challenge with the Lovers App. Your “love muscles” will not grow without exercise. Nor will you loose self-doubt, or anything else you want to loose, by “eating less” of all the love you can have at home. You might have to go on a stricter diet. As in scheduling when your next love meal will make you something to look forward to. And maybe as a starter there will be a challenge of sexting with your partner.
The important thing is that you realize that this commitment need time and effort and a bit of help too. As well as any other life changes you want to establish in your life.

How do you know if you should try this app?

  • Do you feel like this might be the relationship where you can have a new beginning, not like a previous one?
  • Do you miss what you and your partner used to have?
  • Do you feel that your relationship has become stale over the years and needs reviving?
  • Are you experiencing problems in your intimate relationship that you don’t seem able to resolve?
  • Have you tried reading self-help books about relationships but found them too tiresome or not for you?
  • Do you want to feel more alive with your partner in your relationship?

If you answered YES to one or more of the above, we believe the Lovers App is for you. Make a commitment of at least 6 months, or a year. Tell your partner. Ask them if they are willing to commit to this commitment too.
Download the app, if you haven’t already done so, and get started. You and your relationship are worth it!

How do I/we know if I/we are making progress?

In some of the cards we will ask you to write down intentions, reflections or specific answers to specific questions. By writing in a journal or save your notes online, you are able to go back at times to read through your words. Most probably you can clearly see that you have grown and learned from your experiences and the exercises we have put you through.

Remember, you are always free to make notes on your own.
As a way to track your progress over time.

How much time do I/we need to spend working with this?

As the metaphor above described exercising or creating a more healthier way of eating it is always a very individual journey to reach the goal that you have set your sight upon.
As your journey into yourself and your relationship takes place, you will discover how much time you will need to invest and commit to. We advice you to put aside at least 20 minutes to each card and at least 8 weeks of integrating a new habit into your life.

Please, don’t hesitate to get back to us with questions or feedback.

To hold space for each other

Anonymous Alcoholics – surely you have heard, read or seen some parts of that work through watching series on Netflix or other channels. What have the AA to do with this app? The Lovers App?

Well, as it turns out you need to create a space for each other in your relationship where you can feel at ease, swim fully in the swimming pool of uncertainty and confusion. And at the same time take turns in steering this ship of yours through (maybe) dark and murky waters.

One of you might feel more helpless at times, or just more exhausted from work och house hold chores. Hopefully life works with you so that you can take turns in holding space for each other. Sometimes you might have to take a break from this work of yours.

To hold space could be seen as what Brene Brown would call
Vulnerability Anonyms:
What I really need is a Vulnerability anonyms meeting – a gathering place for people who like to numb the feelings that come with not having control, swimming in uncertainty or cringing from emotional exposure. “

Can you commit to create such a space for yourself and your partner?

A space free of judgement and certainty of preconceived assumptions, and free of stormy first drafts (ie SFD) (you know the ones that your brain want you to believe because they confirm everything it wants you to believe). If they do turn up, the SFD´s, make sure that you use all your skills from talking about difficult subjects, tell your partner about the SFD´s, tell the SFD´s you don’t need them and perhaps be rid of them for a while.

With this space you will be more willing to challenge yourself and your assumptions. With this space your partner will feel at ease sharing their needs and longings. As will you.

Relationships – the romantic norm or a new classic norm?

The School of Life has a lot of interesting material that we have looked into as we created the lovers-app. One of them being the book Relationships. In this book they add a new perspective to the existing Romantic norm of relationships which they call the Classical.

The current Romantic script is both normative and delusional. Because in order for us to feel normal in our relationship, many of the following things are meant to happen.

  • We should meet a person of extraordinary inner and outer beauty and immediately feel a special attraction to them, and they to us.
  • We should have highly satisfying sex, not only at the start, but forever.
  • We should never be attracted to anyone else.
  • We should understand each other intuitively.
  • We don´t need an education in love. We may need to train to become a pilot or a brain surgeon, but not a lover. We will pick that up along the way, by following our feelings.
  • We should have no secrets and spend constant time together (work shouldn’t get in the way).
  • We should raise a family without any loss of sexual or emotional intensity.
  • Our lover must be our soulmate, best friend, co-parent, co-chauffeur, accountant, household manager and spiritual guide.

So, what if this norm, this Romantic norm would be replaced fully or at least challenged into a new norm that fits into your relationship with your partner. A norm that you have discussed, talked about, agreed upon and again and again revise to adjust it as you grow and learn more in life.

Let me give you the suggested Classical norm as described by The school of life. Maybe these attitudes can encourage you to set your norm with your partner with the intention that you want, and maybe break free from the intention that culture and society uses to keep you in the Romantic norm.

  • It is normal that love and sex may not always belong together.
  • Discussing money early on, upfront, in a serious way, is not a betrayal of love.
  • Realising, that we are rather flawed, and our partner is too, is of huge benefit to a couple in increasing the amount of tolerance and generosity in circulation.
  • We will never find everything in another person, nor they in us, not because of some unique flaw, but because of the way human nature works.
  • We need to make immense and often rather artificial-sounding efforts to understand one another; that intuition can’t get us to where we need to go.
  • Spending two hours discussing whether bathroom towels should be hung up or can be left on the floor is neither trivial nor unserious, and there is a special dignity around laundry and time-keeping.

Remember – these “norms”, the Romantic and the Classical, are just one way of describing different kinds of assumptions that we bring into a relationship.

Instruction

Take your time to explore what other assumptions you and your partner are bringing into your relationship. Which assumptions you have inherited from your upbringing, your family, what messages you receive from media, etc.
Take your time to be curious what “norms” you want to keep in your relationship. You can always try one, and later discard it.

Remember that this is a never ending conversation and work. As you grow and learn in life, so does your partner. Let your relationship grow and evolve consciously with the both of you.

Hello world!

As we are slowly making progress with our relationship app, we are also slowly updating and working with this site.
We hope it will function as a home for you and us, where we can offer more to you.
A lot more content, links to articles and tests, FAQ´s, reference lists, our “Why”, and a lot more like the longer reads you will be instructed to read in a few of our cards in the app.

We do like conversations so do not hesitate to contact us.

We also like to be cheered on and to be challenged so do not hesitate to help us there.

Welcome to us and please come back for more later on…..