Someone once said that if you are going to "give yourself" to your partner like a bouquet of flowers, you should at least first arrange the gift!
The problem is, becoming more differentiated isn't easy. The many small steps toward core transformation involve more than a self indulgent search to "find yourself."
Solitary pilgrimages can lead to discoveries, but so can staying with your partner. The end result can bring you the best of what life offers, but that doesn't mean the process feels good. No one ever wants to differentiate.
You'll probably do it for the same reasons most people do: differentiating eventually becomes less painful than other alternatives. It's what Gloria Steinem referred to as "outrageous acts of heroism in everyday life."
So although becoming more differentiated makes your life less painful, it will not be pain-free. The very process of differentiation can be excruciating at times.
Loving is both beautiful and painful.
Differentiation offers the ability to tolerate it, enjoy it, and see its meaning.
We have promised ourselves paradise through self knowledge: love, sex, and transcendence will be easy once we know ourselves and our partner.
But that's often when you need to soothe your own heart and calm your own anxieties to take care of yourself.
That is what differentiation offers.
The paradoxes of differentiation are clear:
while differentiation allows us to set ourselves apart from others and determines how far apart we sit, it also opens the space for true togetherness.
It is about getting closer and more distinct--rather than more distant.
What if the key to the best sex and intimacy you have ever had with your spouse is hidden inside your marital problems?
Schnarch, Passionate Marriage