To the subject of romantic relationships, love, and marriage.  Things I’m thinking about, tuning into, and working on, myself.

Some excerpts from last night’s interview that Gweneth Paltrow did with renowned couples therapist Terry Real on the release of his new book, Us: Getting Past You and Me to Build a More Loving Relationship.

TR: “I think intimacy is a panacea.  I think it’s what we’re born for, I think it’s what makes us happy; I think it’s what we as a species are designed for.”

GP:  “So why is it so scary?  Why do we guard against it, so many of us?”

TR: “At any given moment, you can choose connection or you can choose self-protection.  Minute by minute, that’s your choice.  And the more hurt you’ve been, the more trauma you’ve dealt with as a child – and I define trauma very broadly – the scarier it is to be vulnerable.  You think you’re going to get hurt again, and you protect yourself either by withdrawing or by trying to control, and you don’t really allow yourself to surrender to the give and take of connection.  And connection’s hard!  Relationships are hard!  I talk about all relationships as being an endless dance of harmony, disharmony, repair.  Closeness, disruption, and a return to closeness.  And, man, when you move into that disharmony phase, it hurts.  Our culture doesn’t acknowledge that… It’s not whether all the wounds get reenacted that makes for a bad relationship; that is the relationship.  What happens is what do you and your partner do once you’re in the soup with each other?  Do you just act it out?  Or does one of you take a breath, reach for something graceful, mature, and bring peace to war or assertion to being a co-dependent doormat?  Do you do something new and healing in this moment, right now?  That’s the gift…”

To catch GP’s interview with Terry on the Goop podcast go here.  Different from last night’s interview.

(And so glad to see that GP also looks at the ceiling when she’s thinking!)

Have a good weekend, peeps.