Why Self-Care is Needed for Black and Interracial Couples



Romantic relationships are collateral damage in the war against racism.


You are feeling anger, rage. You want justice, you want the dehumanization to end. It becomes part of you... your racing thoughts, your clenched jaw, your knotted stomach. It becomes a lump in your throat, a well behind your eyes, a throbbing headache. You don't know what to do, but you feel the urge that you must do. Something. But what? Round and round and round....


Of course your relationship is going to be impacted by this.


You are in pain. You are wounded, and you're limping on a severed leg and punctured lung. You feel that you cannot stop because it would continue the injustice. You feel you must speak up because you, at least, have a voice - while others no longer do. You have become the wounded and the advocate at the same time. Yes.


Of course your relationship is going to be impacted by this.


It could be more arguments. The irritability and anger spills over into discussions about the dishes and recent purchases. Or, perhaps you withdraw. Your partner wants some loving, but there is too much going on in your mind.... you're just not into it. Your partner wants to have a serious talk, but you have nothing to offer.


Wildly enough, sexual frequency may take a plummet. Date nights become a distant memory. Your face is lit up by your phone screen more than the presence of your partner. Laughter feels like...a guilty pleasure.


What do you do?


Listen. Self-care is a reminder that your wellness matters.

It is literally an act of humanization. It is saying, "my needs, my heart, my joy...they are all sacred." Dehumanization would say that you don't deserve to feel comforted, filled, peace. You must bear all the weight of trauma and all the weight of attempting to fix the trauma. Wounded and educator. Pained and healer. When will you change the narrative and allow yourself to be the healed, the rested, the receiver?


You may have an underlying belief that taking care of yourself is selfish. You may believe it is a luxury only afforded to the rich or the privileged. No. No, no, no. I'll admit, the self-care I've seen promoted on social media these days often comes from a lens of privilege or emotional cut-off. And look, just because something is posted online, doesn't mean it is true.


We're talking about watering and replenishing your resources. That isn't a secret kept only for those who can escape to spa days, nail appointments or bubble baths. Self-care is a practice to tend to your soul, much like you eat food when you become hungry. And, contrary to the self-indulgent title, it can be done individually or within the context of relationship. Both forms, however, will inevitably pour life back into the relationship because everything is connected. When you are healthier, you will be able to love your partner better. When your relationship is healthy, the partner with the emptiest emotional tank can begin to be refueled.


Individually


What do you need? Learn to be aware of what your body and mind are telling you. For example, I know I need to eat when my stomach rumbles (an obvious sign). But there are times when I crave salt, water, or protein. These are different needs under a larger umbrella.


So what do you need?


1. Energy? Maybe a high-intensity workout will get your blood pumping.


2. Comfort? Maybe soothing music, gardening, or a painting session will calm you.


3. Distraction? A good book, a phone call to a friend, or a TV show (in moderation) can pull you out of your mental spiral.


As a Couple


As I mentioned earlier, you may be attempted to lash out at or withdraw from your partner. If you are in an interracial relationship, you might either filter/censor/hold back your true feelings (because you feel your partner won't understand), or you may be the person being filtered out of your partner's experience.


This type of censorship puts up walls and inhibits vulnerability. Vulnerability is a necessary component for intimacy. And without intimacy, your relationship will lose some of its health. Practice self-care by reviving intimacy in your relationship.


There is miraculous, divine healing power in relationships. Let yours be a fortress, refuge, and everlasting fountain.

1. Increase your touch.


Mindfully put a hand on your partner's shoulder as you pass by them, give random bear hugs throughout the day, hold hands while driving or walking in the park, drape your legs or arms over one another as you sit on the couch. Oxytocin is your miracle potion here, and it is released more and more through touch within the safety of an intimate relationship.


2. Play games together.


One of the fights against dehumanization is the stealing or silencing of our voice. Right. Don't let your laughter be stolen or silenced, either. Collectively, we are lamenting... but this fight is long and hard. Refresh yourself. Find an activity you enjoy, shut off the input of technology, and spend a few hours (or a full day) delighting in your human right to be connected and loved.

.

And, if you are in so much pain that you feel stuck, self-care may be talking. Again, no TV. Just you and a loved one. For White ladies and gents in interracial relationships, let your partner express. Listen. Be their space to release. Ask what they need in order to be real. Let them time be completely theirs.


Protect your mind, heart and spirit today. Non-negotiable.







Hey, luv! I'm Sadé!


I create online intimacy courses for ladies who feel uncomfortable asking questions, or want to experience intimacy guidance within the privacy of their own home.


I'd love to chat with you directly and see how I can serve you.


Instagram: @myintimacytherapist

Website: www.myintimacytherapist.com

Email: hello@myintimacytherapist.com

Sadé Ferrier, M.S.

Sade Jovanne, LLC

hello@myintimacytherapist

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