Relationship: how much openness is too much? That’s what the couples therapist says

Openness and dominance
How much is too much

© Olena Yakobchuk / Shutterstock

Is love the answer to all questions? Not quite. It also provides quite a few. Psychologist and couples therapist Oskar Holzberg answers them all.

What does it mean to expect the other person to be in a relationship? Openness instead of dominance.

It’s wonderful how contradicting love is. Wonderful because it eludes the predictability of the world, algorithms, statistics, science and advisors. Love is thus an area of ​​our life that cannot be planned, resolved and optimized.

Mutual consideration

For example, we want to be able to be who we really are in our relationship. But at the same time we want to treat each other with respect and negotiate our common life with one another. We cannot trample through a love relationship completely detached from everything if we do not want to beam ourselves back to the single universe quickly, we know that. We want to let the inner pig out and still keep it better in the barn. What sounds like a dilemma is not, however. Because there is always a difference between our feelings on the one hand and our actions on the other.

The idea that we could be mercilessly authentic is tempting but unrealistic. Our inner world and our outer world will never and can never be identical. Thoughts, feelings and fantasies determine what we do, but they are not identical to our actions. Despite a job, marriage and children, someone can continue to dream of gigs, groupies and drugs, of going on tour with the band again instead of sitting in front of the PC day in and day out. Then he can expect his partner that she does not appear in this dream and that she has to endure it. And risk that she might think he is naive or crazy and for someone who cannot grow up.

He can expect her to negotiate which evenings he goes to the band rehearsal. But he can’t expect her to simply disappear into the practice room every evening and pile up a tower of amplifiers and bass guitars in the living room.

Share the inner world

Fall in love with your partner again: Oskar Holzberg

Oskar Holzberg, 67, has been advising couples in his Hamburg practice for over 20 years and has been married for over 30 years. His current book is called “Neue Schlüsselsätze der Liebe” (240 pages, 11 euros, DuMont).

© Ilona Habben

Accepting yourself in a relationship means opening up your partner’s own passion for bondage – but not conjuring up the rope in the middle of lovemaking. It means sharing my inner world. First and foremost, this includes expecting myself to overcome my shame and fear in order to show myself and not to slow myself down because I fear the reaction of my partner. Expecting yourself means confronting the other person with who I am. How it looks in me And sometimes what I’ve done. And then to make a life together out of it. Accepting yourself doesn’t mean just doing what I feel like doing.

There is the real story of the man who one day revealed to his wife that he had sold the house they lived in. What was clearly a breach of trust, an unbearable dominance over the life of the other. And what exactly came about because this man was ultimately too averse to conflict and too remote of emotions to accept his thoughts and intentions.

“Couple adox” is the podcast with Oskar Holzberg and his wife Claudia. You speak openly about topics that keep challenging relationships. Funny, exciting and insightful! I.a. on Audio Now.

Would you like to read more about the topic and exchange ideas with other women? Then have a look at the “Relationship in everyday life forum” BRIGITTE community past!

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BRIGITTE 10/2021