November 18, 2016

Let’s Get Intimate: Supporting your Partner without being Controlling. {Adult Q & A}

Flickr/Gordon Anthony McGowan

Let's Get Intimate - askastarte@gmail.com


Q. I have been in a relationship with my man for three months now. Things are turning out well. 

We met at the same stage in our life where we both are working (from scratch) to make it big in our careers . With that being said, I want to motivate him to do better in his life. I want to inspire him to be achieve his better self. And I also want to deepen our connection spiritually. 

Looking forward to hearing from you.


A. Congratulations on your blossoming love!

It’s quite an amazing thing when the forces of nature align in such a way that you find a fellow traveler who shares your aspirations. I wish you both success in your lives together and in your respective careers.

It makes perfect sense that as an extension of your care for this man you want him to “do better,” to achieve his dreams and be the best man he can be. This shows your consummate concern for his well-being. I would have to ask what is it that he’s doing now that makes you feel he is not on that path already? Each of us has a life journey that must be lived in accordance with our deepest self and at our own pace. As much as you may wish to help him elevate himself, the task is really best performed by him and him alone.

Perhaps you have heard that old saying, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.” In your case, you can offer words of inspiration to your partner, but ultimately it is up to him to decide what, if anything, he needs to improve upon.

Does this mean you cannot have input into his life? Of course not. I’d suggest that the best way to encourage your man to live to his fullest potential is to retrain your attention to yourself. Lead by example. If you take on any personal development project it must be your own. We cannot change anyone but ourselves.

Spiritually, you can offer ways that the two of you can deepen your relationship. Perhaps you can suggest mutual meditation. Going to temple or church or mosque together. If you are sexually active, each of you can concentrate on deepening your presence during lovemaking, and thereby open yourselves to divine surrender together.

Of course, if you see your partner behaving in a self-destructive manner—either by exhibiting low self-esteem or bad habits like eating poorly, not getting enough exercise or performing other acts of self-care—you have every place as his partner to remind him of the wonderful traits you see in him. Sharing your feelings about your belief in him is immensely productive and will most certainly be welcomed. After all, we all need words of encouragement from time to time.

I would only caution that you not take on the role of his personal coach. This would place you in a position of superiority, not one of his equal. He may feel he’s doing quite well at the moment. Your motivation—however well-intentioned—could be read as a message that you don’t appreciate him for who he is right now.

If you truly want to support your man, do it by meeting him where he is. Celebrate him exactly as he is. I promise you that kind of support is always welcome. If he sees that you accept him as he traverses his long journey in life, he will flourish. The same goes for you! As he does his work, so should you. That way, each of you is living your support, not forcing it in from the outside.

Happy loving!


Author: Rachel Astarte 

Image: Flickr/Gordon Anthony McGowan

Editor: Yoli Ramazzina

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