Interview of Denisa Palečková with Martin Veselovský for Czech television DVTV.
Let me welcome here today Denisa Palečková, lecturer in the partnership field. Denisa, during the year you organize dozens of different courses, stays, lecturers, webinars…As I can see they are mostly full – the demand for them is considerable. What does it mean? Are we not absolutely sure or do we not know how to live together?
I think it shows that many couples and individuals find out it is not completely inherent to live in a partnership, to live in two – skills we need for that are not inborn. During school years we gain education – we learn integrals, physics, a number of details of the geography and history, but the school education little neglects skills such as personal hygiene, relationships and of course partnership relationships.
Does it mean we cannot live in pair by nature?
That’s how I’d say it…It depends what we have around us as models. I meet only few people who would say: “I like the way my parents lived together – that`s how I would like to live as well.” Most people notice parents got divorced or they were together somehow, but they recall it could have been better. It is the model we have in front of us when growing up and undoubtedly it imprints into us. And so, as our parents made mistakes, we also make them and many of those mistakes happen due to certain ignorance – ignorance of how a man and a woman works, what is the dynamics of expressing emotions etc.
I think this is a basic question – as per your experiences, do men and women know how they are, and if they are capable to accept and respect their basic qualities, which they have as a man and a woman…
We live in such an interesting time where it looks we are the same….When I was studying sociology, I visited gender studies and basically those gender studies say a man and a woman are the same – except biology…
This is a bit simplistic view of gender studies, is it not?
I have heard many proofs why it is so and how we develop ourselves (being a girl, I get a doll, being a boy, I get a car etc.) and that we have those models around us ….When I look at our child who is playing with a bus toy, the bus does not have a driver man but driver woman (to break the stereotype)… I am not saying it is right or wrong… it is a manifestation of today’s time where we, also based on these trifles, have a quiet assumption that we are all the same and we will spontaneously understand each other. Much as I experience the world, I tend to interpret that my partner experience it the same way. My experience (and also experience of person who since 2002 has been working in the field of intimacy and relationship as a lecturer) is that we have many wrong assumptions and that the experience of a man and a woman is very different on the level of body and touch, on the level of emotions, on the level of style and communication demands…
So we often do not understand each other in very small everyday situations – this is actually one part of the courses for couples me and Richard Vojik organize.
I think that last couple of years there is a higher interestin finding out what does it mean that the woman is cyclic and the man is much more linear etc. I feel as if there was more interest in that – and I go back to my first question – finding out, how it really works among a couple…Is it so?
It is so. I think the need is so big because people more and more realize how important personal life and relationships are for them. We live at a time when we have relatively economic well-being – and it is also someone who lives on the threshold of the subsistence minimum – so we can still say that all those life needs are secured.
And when we reach such levels and we no longer fight for the bare survival, we find out that any matter, any success in this world have a minimum value for us when our relationship is breaking up and when our family is falling apart – when we start losing the most important things we had in our lives. And this experience, unfortunately, have almost half of the people nowadays. It is basically like – we break up, divorce, we leave kids behind, we go to new family….So many men and women say they now want to do it correctly and they do not want to repeat the same mistakes and want to care of that relationship giving it much more space and energy than before.
On the other side, it is a strange look at it – it is as if a lot of years before those couples lived together sort of incompatibly or it was basically a coincident they got on – and now everyone has wakened up and want to find out how it should function between man and woman…?
I would say it is not such a long time, only a couple of dacades back, when divorce was socially unacceptable, i.e. there was stronger pressure of the society to stay together no matter what….
Was it not right? Was it not better than now?
That is the question. Probably cannot be said case by case…..For sure, there is interesting incentive to stay together and in the framework of what we have together, we will try to do the best. The mistake is when the two of them just survive and they live the parallel lines of routine common life, but that moment / impulse – yes, there are challenging moments in life when we can use it to learn something and to change something within us, in the relationship – is the opportunity to do something differently and to grow up on the possible crisis, in this case it is great benefit for both of course.
I do not want to say that all couples should stay together no matter what but my experience is I see lot of couples who break up and divorce only on the basis of some ignorance – on the basis that they do not know how to be with each other. In next relationship they are again solving an analogy of something similar.
What the couple who visit you can expect? Where is the difference compared to family therapy at psychologist or to marriage counseling?
I would say the different is already the basic assumption: When you say “therapy”, often there is a premise that there is something wrong – something had broken or somebody is spoiled…
But you are usually visited by couples who feel it is a little wrong….
I would say there is a lot of couples visiting us where especially women are initiators – and that is also natural. For a woman, a relationship is the on the first place (in the sense that it is a very important matter – relationship and relationships as such), while a man rather resolves the question of his life journey, life’s mission and fulfillment. Woman`s natural attention aims towards relationships she has in her life and another woman`s characteristic is that compared to men she has sort of “basic dissatisfaction” inside… From a woman’s point of view, it is a desire to improve, i.e. she feels the relationship could be better and the house could be nicer and the life could be juicier…
And this man has nothing left, but to go with that woman to you?
We have experience that many men come based on the instigation of a woman because – again – basic setting of a man is that the life and the relationship is basically OK or that until woman is at home and smilesfrom time to time we have nice relationship and plus when we have sex here and there, we have a good relationship….And women are internally so much more demanding – they want it to be beautiful and suspect it could be even better – and that is the basic essence of the woman, in all areas (not only in the relationship but anywhere else). The woman feels it can be… better and different…And she wants it! While the basic attunement of a man is to have peace of mind/ to have a peace from all…
I am sorry for a technical parenthesis: The way you say that it looks like super stereotype of how women and men are, i.e. Women cannot drive and cannot read maps (that`s something similar)…I am surprised you say that – you are describing it in a sense such are women, such are men…and done!
If I wanted more stereotype, I would talk about what is female and what is male (i.e. masculine and feminine). Of course we have those qualities inside us…There are women with many masculine qualities, they manage really well both themselves and others, achieve goals, are logical and rational (which are males qualities), and today`s men are very empathic, emotionally founded etc. – which is another characteristic of this time that allows us to do so much more…Earlier, the social pressure was much stronger for women to be such and men to be such…But today we have the variability. However, there are still some basic characteristics that are a core for that particular woman or man.
And for most women, this is the core of the quality that we would put into a drawer “female” even though the woman could have learned to make male peel, so to say – when I say the basis of the woman is to feel, perceive, experience – and at school she learns to be rational, logical and to hide her feelings (not only at school but generally at life, in relationships…)
So she creates so called masculine peel. Today`s women are great in masculine qualities. And again on the contrary – with many men, they have the experience they learn how to suppress certain qualities, which we put into male category – such as healthy agresivity, liveliness……But there is a teacher in the kindergarten, and mom at home saying be a good boy – do not run, do not fight…..But that little/ young man needs exactly this for his development.Ideally he needs a man standing next to him who is a model and inspiration for him and supports him in what is his own nature….
And do I understand it correctly that from woman`s point of view it is good when man is lightly aggressive?
Yes, also from the woman`s point of view, at least in terms of relationship polarity and passion…The healthy, natural man`s agresivity – when used consciously and with open heart, is extremely wanted for partner sexuality – for the polarity, for the passion…..
And that brings us to the question, that has not been answered: Compared to therapy, psychologist (just about anything different), what else couples or individuals get from you, when they visit you?
We look at five fundamental areas in the relationship which usually can be developed. At first it is communication – so that we really listen (because we often talk to each other, we are full of what we want to say. but we do not hear what comes to us from the other side and we misinterpret it.)
So one of the areas is communication, which is heavily focused on listening and understanding, more than on I want you to accept my truth…! Another big area are emotions. Today’s women are very good in hiding what they feel… But it is the nature of the woman and the female body to perceive, to feel, it is said that women have a better intuition etc. Essentially, the sensitivity of a woman is usually much higher than of men. But due to the society we now live in, women learn how to suppress their feelings in the speech, learn how to name, analyze and rationalize which is the harm to the relationship…..Perhaps in the workplace it is an excellent feature (in many environments it has a great function).
And the third point?
Man do not know how to work with those emotions. So that is on the other side for man to know what to do with such a woman who cries, rages and blames him etc. without him running away or attacking her. (And there is the path to it!). Third area is about polarity – passion. Basically through how women learn to be more logical and men to be more sensitive and emotional, we get equal in men and women`s qualities and then we have a pair who says – we get along really well, we make deals about everything, communication is perfect, only the intimacy is behind – we live together as brother and sister or two coworkers, friends…That is the polarity – passion. And other area is sexuality of course. From what we see around us, how we learn sexuality from movies, porns, from magazines, from what we see around – that`s little piece of sexuality. And it is too weak way of how to use the basic life power which sexuality is. Many couples do not know how to maintain such live, joy and passion in the relationship after ten, twenty years.
I have the experience that at the beginning everything was perfect, all was running well…but know we have no interest…. And basically there is a way out – it is in different way of love making (we call it “conscious love making”), how to also physically enjoy again and again, and how to many times increase so called “love vibrations”, embracing each other, that physical magnetism through different way of love making, from what we see around us.
I understand that. On the other hand, I do not quite believe that if we talk about a couple who is twenty years together (and quite logically, they already have a lot of things behind them, so it’s not the initial phase of the love), there would be some universal recipe on how to light some kind of fire and how to give it what it was at the beginning…
And I say I know the recipe.
I do have experience, that in case both partners are tuned on to invest their attention into their relationship and to try something new, if they are opened to try the methods we work with, the success is guaranteed. And where there is not much to do? When one of the partners is already out of the relationship by one leg, i.e. when only one of them wants to improve, or even to save the relationship and the other one is not interested…There it is a hard work. But if both of them are inclined to try conscious love I am talking about, and they try it more then once, basically those changes / results are certain, one can say.
Sex and work with sexuality is often included, when someone looks at the descriptions of your courses and seminars. How often do you come across the fact whwre the sexuality in your courses is also discouraging (as it is something we do not talk about publically – it is our personal thing and no one else should be in it – and here somebody will teach me how I should behave in bed – it is so strange)?
Certainly, we also meet with this view, especially when one of the partners is “brought” in to the course (i.e. comes on the impulse of the other). With Richard we like to work through the body and sexuality because it is really the basis as per my experience (it’s just how we come to the world at all), this power is alfa and omega of that all….And when we start working with the body and sexuality, other parts of the life are also transformed – not only the relationship, but also the work. I remember a man who visited course for couples with his wife, they started to practice conscious loving, and thanks to that a series of life changes has begun, which led him to quit well payed job in a bank after twenty years and to start his own business; in essence, it was the experience, the knowledge that led him into it; he found out he wants to have different life style etc. – and he transformed the rigid, well working work area because he started to feel himself differently….
I am sorry but I would like to hear the man saying it was a change for the better…
It was…. He is pleased, he now has much more freedom because he does business – he did not notice any financial damage, on the contrary. So it is really that kind of a happy story – story with happy end.
So if I cut it completely out of what you say is the basis of the whole thing, we are discussing that you put pairs together in case that they still want to be together. In some way you push them forward, and the key for the couple to be happier, is sex…
It is very important area. But it is not only sex. Those areas are basically complementary – for example sex and emotions are closely related. Then there is one more area which I call healing because many couples alienate based on some injury, either physical or emotional.
At the physical level, it is a childbirth experience for a number of women when they experience, I do not know, Caesarean section, splinter – certain form of labor trauma we can say – and basically, it locks up those women, they lock themselves up even towards intimate partner life but neither woman or man are able to name it… So many couples experience gradual separation and it is connected with disappearance of intimate life. For the woman something is suddenly different so she is no longer interested in love making or refuses the partner – he feels neglected and unloved etc. – and it is chained and wrapped….And there are methods we work with, which can change this dynamics.
We work a lot through so-called vaginal mapping and possibly also through scars treatment if there is scar tissue – and it completely changes the dynamics of the woman’s experience, i.e. she blooms, comes back to herself…But it is one unnamed area and the cause of a number of marital/partner crises. And it is also healing on the plane of the soul…It can be a series of trifles which will pack in one, two, three… ten years (he looked at me badly…, she told me something, but I am gonna swallow it…) and basically bigger and bigger distance is built or there is experience of infidelity (loss of trust connected with it)…And this dynamic causes we close up, encapsulate, and we say it is actually good…But after couple of years: We do not have anything to say at all, our relationship has already cooled off…Basically it is the defense, the shell we made….And that is other area we work with – to help the person and his/her heart to open up again…One connected with the other….The opening is through body work, through communication, through expressing emotions…And this conscious love making contains it all…