We have all seen the couples dressed exactly the same, holding hands in busy shopping centre complexes, leaving others to navigate around them when they won’t drop their attachment. This is a visual clue of a fused relationship. When this couple first met they were separate individuals but over time they have blended into one identity. They are now unhealthily fused.
This fusion usually means they know exactly where each other is every moment, they will not go anywhere without the other, they do not have separate friends, they have given up past interests to please the other and they compromise on all issues to keep the relationship safe. And if you dig deep they are content but bored to death.
There is nothing wrong with spending a lot of time with the one we love but it is mentally healthy to allow the other the freedom of independence. It is after all the differences in each other that kept us interested when we first met. Fusion kills the spark of excitement of the unknown. Fusion stops us, as individuals, from having a sense of adventure where we can go out into the world alone to find new challenges.
Allowing our other the freedom to go out and do his, or her, own stuff is a gift to each other. It is a gift, which offers trust and freedom. What is wrong with letting the other; take a separate holiday with a friend, go to the movies on their own, take a trip to climb mountains with others, join a separate tennis club, have drinks with work colleagues, have separate friends that you don’t really like anyway and really trying to find your own style of expressing your self again.
Extreme relationship fusion is usually not noticeable to the participants at first. Every thing seems safe and predictable. Things appear okay but every day seems like another. Deep down there are huge resentments with feelings of being disconnected from themselves at an emotional level. Acknowledging that fusion is going on is the first step to living life with more adventure and trust.
Allowing your partner to have some separate thoughts or activities is an act of love as you are giving them the permission to go out and have a sense of adventure on their own. They will love you more for allowing this as well. You then might dig out some of those well-loved singers you loved, but the other hated, and have a great night for one.
Having a close and loving relationship with another can be a beautiful thing but imprisoning each other with too much fusion can place both partners in a safe cell.
Start by never ever wearing the same thing in public. Promise! Take care.
Gerry North is a couple’s counsellor and can be contacted at [email protected] or www.gaycounselling.vpweb.com.au