When Staggered in a Nation of Stagnation

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Too many couples slip into a place of doldrum and melancholic nonchalance. The rate of work and distraction makes for no time to communicate and work on a healthy relationship nation state. Many collect emotional paychecks from the vaults but refuse to deposit back to gain interest. It’s always the other’s fault that the vault runs dry, but no one wants to pay into the system the owed taxes that prevents stagnation formation.

It is easier to blame, to point fingers, to get critical. Looking into the mirror, oh what horrors, to see that one can actually contribute to the nation of stags… perish the thought. When staggered in a nation of stagnation, communication and dedication is a must to pull one out of the muck.

The therapist’s view of Stagnation

The misalignment of their language of love was very apparent. They had grown apart and weren’t talking with each other. Instead, they were talking at each other. Often from a position of masked pain and frustration.

He wanted a few simple things that would make him feel like a hero again. However, he was not investing in heroic activities that moved the needle for his lady. Worse, his flight from the scene made it clear that he thought the relationship was broken… and she reacted to try and save her relationship. Growing critical, she wanted answers and he took the inquiry as attacks on his manhood and grew defensive.

She wanted to be cherished and loved, made to feel special, have a safe place to be herself. He was confused by her outward effort to hold the image of stability. While he couldn’t understand why she’d dress up and act extra nice outside the home, it was her way of keeping the world ignorant of the fact they were in stagnation. Her efforts did not register to him, as they were both not speaking to and with each other.

While wearing makeup and cute outfits to work was her effort to signal she was still interested in him, his mindset felt that all that extra effort was supposed to be spent on him. The look of shock, surprise, disillusionment, confusion, and weariness that crossed his face as he started to understand her means of communication sank him deeper into a feeling of helplessness. A defense mechanism learned but no longer helpful in this situation of stagnation.

As convinced as he was that she did not notice his lack of purchases of things, she was painfully aware that his affection had dried up. Her frustration flashed bright red when she learned that he was trying to teach her a lesson and spilled over into angry chastisement that was somewhat well earned. The denial of gifts only supported her belief that he didn’t care. If he didn’t care, why should she care was her thought.

Creating time to talk, safely talk, would be critical for their survival and safe passage out of stagnation. They had to work as a team and understand it would take time to replenish the tanks in the vault of their mutual love. That didn’t take away from the work needed to restore their individual’s vault that also ran dry during stagnation.

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As far as stagnation is concerned

The comfort of not trying was so alluring. The stagnation state loves not having to work, stress, try, push. It’s easy. It’s going with the flow. It is not rocking the boat. It is avoiding conflict. It is just being. The allure is so pleasing but the darkness that ensues creates all manners of moans and groans that aren’t of the pleasure variety.

Looking at the list of things the members of this relationship wanted, it was getting a bit clear just what got lost in the shuffle and dance of darkness.

He wanted her to look cute and sexy at home. She, tired from a day in cute and sexy, wanted to be comfy at home.

He didn’t feel the need to put extra effort in house care, as she was always in comfy lazy mode. She needed her comfort to plow through his list of chores alongside hers. That often made her too tired to do anything more, how dare he consider this laziness.

He wanted to be consulted for major joint decisions, she felt it was very demeaning that she was not trusted to make grown adult decisions on her own. Neither understood that it was not about limiting one or the other but keeping each other aware of the various decisions being made… in the event roles had to be reversed, the transition would be smooth and continuous. Obviously, how that was communicated had to change, so neither camps felt hurt and slighted.

He wanted a moment of peaceful bonding, she took it to be that he just wanted to avoid house work and needed to be the parent in the relationship to keep him well tracked. Maybe, just putting the need to words and scheduling cuddle time would address the worries and concerns. Not to mention, decompression zone outside of home for him would allow him to feel re-energized and ready to jump into the domestic efforts of the home.

She wanted to feel special and felt it was his job and duty. He felt the lack of appreciation of his good will was her devaluing him. A simple thank you goes very far. And a change in mindset to avoid catastrophizing everything would calm him down a bit to chill.

The aftermath

They took several long hard months to right the ship of stagnation. It had been months in the making, it only stood to reason it would be months in the correcting.

These two caught it in time. They worked it out. Now, things are feeling more normal than ever. Sure, not everything wanted was gotten, but certain discoveries added so much more that the old seemed just passe.

She let him discover how much she loved when he pulled her hair to initiate sparks or enhance existing sparks. He was pleasantly surprised to find out that she enjoyed having her tush swatted affectionately and left rosy pink. Maybe she’d get those velvet covered cuffs after all instead of another super size pack of D-Batteries.

Dressing at home would remain an non-starter. He’d just have to get over that, she told him affectionately. He’d learn to live with that as he now was feeling very needed.  Maybe in time, with a little discipline, some new negotiations would ensue… to which she blushed in a way he had not seen since they were dating.

Stagnation isn’t always a bad nation

Whatever the situation is, so long as the point of no return has not been crossed and trampled mercilessly underfoot… there is still hope to rekindle love and make it blossom. Do the work, prepare the ground, and when the seed has taken hold, don’t constrict the phoenix’s flight. It will go where it goes. The new romance will burn brightest when allowed to fan out as it wants.

Not everything hoped for is gotten, not everything desired is forgotten, but what is taken will definitely sizzle and shine as the effects of stagnation is dropped into distant memory.

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