Sex and relationships:
the psychology of sex and relationshipsApplying the concept of Symbiosis
If you've read the chapter onsymbiosis in relationships, you might have decided whetherthis is a pattern which exists in your relationship or not. Also, think about which role youwould normally take, person A, who uses his or her adult and parent ego states, who is incharge and who becomes the "responsible one", or person B, who mostly accesses his or herchild ego state in the relationship and who gets to be looked after at the price of beingcontrolled.
Of course, you may not take the same roles in your life outside your relationship. Person Bmight be the boss at work and person A might find it easy to discuss his or her feelings andneeds with his/her friends. What's relevant here is what happens in your intimaterelationship.
Symbiosis means that there is a loss of flexibility and difference between two people. Youcan get it back by trying out new ways of relating. Person A needs to look after themselvesmore, but also give up control over person B and let him or her make their own decisions(even if you think they aren't very good ones - people need to learn from their ownmistakes. And who knows, your partner might just surprise you by how grown up andindependent he or she can be). Person B needs to take back his or her power and beresponsible for their own life.
Some people may be heavily invested in maintaining the symbiosis, in which case they willresist change. However, if you change they will have to adapt! In the end you can onlychange yourself and you may have to take the risk of putting your relationship on the line tomake sure you get to do what you need to do for yourself. Quite often though, the secondperson in relationships will adapt once you make it clear that you will change no matterwhat.
In terms of your sex life, getting out of a symbiotic pattern can only be a good thing. Sexthrives on difference, on change and flexibility, and freedom from responsibilities. Gettingout of a symbiotic pattern may mean that you feel free to experience sex for your ownpleasure, rather than feeling obliged to make it right for the other person.
Symbiosis and sex really don't go together at all. The
set-up of symbiosis meansthat neither one of you is in an adult place in the relationship and having sex with someoneyou are emotionally looking after or who you want to be looked after by will be ratherstrange. This set up doesn't allow for the passion of sex to emerge. If sex works at all youwill more than likely be locked into the roles you normally take on in the relationship, withone person now doing the sexual "looking after" and the other person being the passivereceiver. I am sure an inflexible pattern like this will get boring very quickly!
So, what to do about it? It probably won't be enough to challenge the roles you have witheach other sexually: you'll also need to start looking at the whole set-up of your