But it cannot happen the way you want it to happen--easily, automatically, without defining what it is that you want, without asking, and without reciprocating.
You have to moderate your old brain reactivity with a more intentional, conscious style of interaction. You have to stop expecting the outside world to take care of you and begin to accept responsibility for your own healing.
The way you do this is by focusing your energy on healing your partner. It is when you direct your energy away from yourself and toward your partner that deep level psychological and spiritual healing begins to take place.
One exercise is about making general requests of your partner and asking them to overcome their most prominent negative traits. For example, the one partner would be asked to come up with a list of requests which the other partner would be free to honor or not. The requests would be for difficult changes in behavior, not for simple pleasurable interactions.
How could you state to your partner in positive specific terms exactly what is that they need from each other? How could they come up with these requests? The answer is simple, just by gaining information about what they did not get in childhood is a pretty good start.
This material is sitting right on the surface, ready to be discovered! The months or years that the couple have spent together have worn away their softer, more superficial annoyances and exposed the stony outcrop of their fundamental needs. "You always....." "You never..." "When are you ever going to..."
At the heart of these accusations are disguised pleas for the very things they did not get in childhood--for affection, for affirmation, for protection, for independence, for attachment. To come up with list of requests for this exercise, therefore, the couples would simply need to isolate the the hidden desires in their chronic frustrations. Then they could convert the general desire into specific behaviors that would help satisfy those desires. This list of positive, specific requests would become the ongoing curriculum of their relationship.
Reaching a new stage in your journey of life together in a conscious marriage will move you beyond the power struggle and beyond the stage of awakening into the stage of transformation. Your new relationship can be reignited and based on mutual caring and love, the kind of love that can best be described by the Greek work, "agape."
Agape is a self-transcending love that redirects eros, (the life force), away from yourself and toward your partner. As one transaction follows another, the pain of the past is slowly erased, and both of you will experience the reality of your essential wholeness.
Harville Hendrix ~ Getting the Love You Want