Issue 62 –
Suggestion # 2:
Showing respect by dressing for each other
as you would for someone else
Hal : The second thing we want to bring up is connected to respect. It’s on a slightly different plane, but here it is. I make sure that I dress for Sidra. What I’m getting at is that we live in the country and many times no one is around. Sandy is with us during the week, but I’m aware that I’m with a woman and I dress for that. Even if I don’t do it every single day, I keep it in mind. I don’t just stay in my bathrobe all day every day when there’s nobody else around.
Sidra : And vice versa.
Hal : And vice versa … … and if she doesn’t, I will bring it to her attention. I won’t accept her dropping into the level of dress you so often see in the country. It’s not acceptable to me and it isn’t for Sidra either.
Sidra : At first it was sort of tempting to let things slide. But I think it’s a sign of respect, an honoring of each other to dress appropriately. It’s not just that we get dressed up to go out. Sometimes I think of it as the difference between being married and having an affair. You wouldn’t think of meeting the guy you’re having an affair with, looking like you just rolled out of bed in your old sweats. In the end, it keeps us from getting too familiar.
Hal : What Sidra just said is the key. It’s very easy to get too familiar in a relationship and that’s one of the expressions of a positive bonding pattern. You’ll see as we go along, that a number of the points we make have to do with keeping appropriate boundaries; trying to find the right level of familiarity.
Suggestion # 3: “Do no harm”
Sidra : The next point also seems related to watching for that quality of disdain we mentioned last month. It’s a “do no harm ” clause in relationship. There’s attention to a basic rule that you don’t say anything with the intent of hurting the other person. We don’t set out to attack and draw blood. We never go after each other’s soft spots even if we’re furious. Again, that would be something that goes in very deeply. It breaks the vessel.
Hal : I want to just add that you can only manage these things, this awareness, after you’ve done a considerable amount of work. I’m thinking about a couple new to all this, who are just killing each other in negative bonding patterns. They could be listening to all this and it will pass right over their heads. They don’t have any choice because they’re trapped in the bonding pattern. This murderous, killing energy comes into relationship when you feel trapped. You feel like you have to go after somebody. But when you aren’t trapped, you don’t have to kill anybody.
Sidra : And in the moment, they would say: “But, I didn’t do anything! ” or “But, I was just joking!” We can be completely unaware of what we’re doing. It’s just the energies – the tone – that accompany the words.
Suggestion #4: Privacy
Hal : So, number four. This has long been a thought of mine, and it’s this: I think it’s a very poor idea for two people in a relationship to use the same toilet at the same time. It’s extraordinarily common, of course, to share a bathroom and people often pride themselves on ,not being falsely modest. I’ve never really understood that, but I believe that it breeds the kind of familiarity that’s exactly counter-productive to finding the right balance between people.
Sidra : … and creating intimacy.
Hal : Intimacy, yes. Many people, maybe more sophisticated people, would see this is an intimate act. I don’t see it that way. Rather, I see it as an overly familiar act and I think it just cements the positive bonding pattern. So I wanted to mention that.