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Just When You Thought You Knew Them...

It's not just about sex and candy... The Continuum of Pride and Humility.

I am a sex therapist. I specialize in people learning to live with a relationship with pornography addiction. I also work intimately with people transitioning genders or contemplating their sexuality. And all too often I also work with couples dealing with the classical concern surrounding communication.

I think uncertainty is a built-in feature of all relationships. Yes, it sounds to be grim. However, I say this with hope and certainty no matter what you, your partner or your relationship are coming up against. You must know there is hope in seeking answers.

In truth, we never know our partner’s as well as we think we do. To this point I offer the simple suggestion, engage in dismantling the security system of both your view on things and more important always thinking you understand your partner.

Today I am writing about two points on the opposite end of a continuum. Pride and humility.

Pride -

We have all been there, stuck in our ways, not moving. It could take many different looks: the wrong way to load the dishwasher or something even more complex like what your next 5 years could look like. When you feel that your ego is getting in the way of a fun evening with your partner, or you are starting to look for attention somewhere else. It’s time to dive into what your so prideful about? Is it a false pride? This basically means are you attaching yourself to something that is not worth attaching too. Is there merit to attaching to it?

Three questions to ask yourself…

  • Do I need to be the one to say this?

  • Do I need to say this right now?

  • How important is this to me?

At this point I would offer you might back down or even continue. But you will be continuing with more clarity around the environment and person your talking with.

Humility -

Being a humble person takes practice. Being a humble person within a relationship talks a lot of practice. Ask yourself a couple of questions. Have you felt that you are a humble person around your partner or a new date? Do you ask them about their day?

Seek to understand rather then being understood is a fundamental position I teach within my office. It doesn’t matter if you’re dealing with a 20-year pornography addiction or fight over the shampoo. Only when you’re seeking to understand do you gain clarity and in time will you be understood. It’s actually a great way to learn humility.

Dr. Ryan Westrum is a sex therapist specializing in pornography addiction, sex addiction and infidelity. Contact him at 952-261-5269 or by email .

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