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In a blog titled Is there a hole at the heart of your relationship? I describe a situation I see in a growing number of relationships: one partner (usually the woman) is emotionally alive and present while the other (usually the man) is emotionally stagnant and unavailable. On the plus side, these men have no sexual demons—porn, sex addiction, desiring porn-like sex or other sex partners.

The ’hole’

The way this situation manifests is in the emotionally growing partner discovering a ‘hole’ in the place where they want deeper connection with their partner. This hole is experienced as a numb or null zone, devoid of feeling or of language.

A friend of mine calls it the ‘zone of mutually agreed non-negotiation’. It’s the place where we unconsciously chose not to share our deepest emotional and sexual selves with our significant other for fear of being rejected.

Patriarchal Operating System - Emotional unavailabilityWhen one partner in a relationship shifts emotionally, they naturally want their partner to join them in this newer, raw, yet more spacious place. The other partner has no idea this new space even exists. They have no concept of emotional unavailability or that it rules their life.

Conflict erupts between the partners who are now in mutually exclusive emotional states—growing or stagnant; alive or dead. This is a great divide that must ultimately end one of two ways:

Firstly, the relationship ends when one partner gives up on the other one shifting. This is a significant marriage killer.

Secondly, the relationship enters a new phase when the other partner shifts. This may seem all hunky-dory as the couple can now work on their issues collaboratively and create an emotionally healthier relationship.

Repression, release, regulation

However, at this point Law of Unintended Consequences can kick in—especially when the latterly awakening partner is male. This is because of a simple truth:

When we awaken emotionally, we awaken sexually—and vice-versa

When the lid blows off one, it blows off the other. The same factor that keeps us emotionally stagnant keeps us sexually stagnant. That factor is unconscious shame.

This tends to affect men more than women because outer-directed masculine energy looks for answers outside itself. Women, who tend to be more emotionally mature than men in patriarchal societies, often manage their demons better.

The eruption of emotional and sexual discord signals our passage into the second stage of a three-stage journey: clearing the unconscious.

Clearing the unconscious

This is the journey we’re making both personally and as a planet—out of the frigid grip of patriarchal shame and repression.

The first stage, which has encompassed the last 6,000 years, is where everyone is sexually and emotionally stagnant and repressed. They don’t know it and don’t want to know it. It’s too socially dangerous. All risky emotional and sexual impulses are unconsciously quashed—until something happens that breaks us out of repression.

Sexual demons

This pressure may come from within, or from our partner once they’ve discovered the hole where they once experienced the fake intimacy of co-dependent patriarchal relationships.

Either way, passage into the next stage is typically marked by some kind of rupture. The dysfunctional behaviour stage is where our sexual demons kick in. (Yes, this is the voice of experience speaking.)

Once this genie is out of the bottle, there’s no going back. You must clear your sexual shame to cross the dangerous ground of dysfunctional behaviour to reach the self-controlled stage. Here everything quietens down and you bring your sexual energy under self-regulation.

This simple truth is not largely understood.

As a result, society invests a lot of time, effort, and money in strategies that try to put the genie back in the bottle, such as porn addiction therapies focused on avoiding triggers rather than figuring out what the unconscious wound behind the trigger is.

The choice lies between symptom management and root cause resolution. Ultimately, only one of these will work in the long run.

The gateway to root cause resolution is releasing the unconscious shame that keeps our emotional and sexual demons out of conscious awareness.

Image generated using Fotor AI

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