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Strength of Love

Meeting in the Strength of Love is an approach to relationship built on inner strength and respect for agency, boundaries and consent. The ideas of self validation from David Schnarch's Passionate Marriage form a basis. The focus on needs and feelings from Nonviolent Communication and an emphasis on transformation from the Fires of Venus community also serve integral parts. The term was introduced here in a blog post discussing applying the strength of love to a relationship with Venus.

The Essay by hartmans

I value you. My love for you is strong. Strong enough that I hope you will meet me in strength. I hope you will meet me in the strength of your feelings, sharing them even when it is hard. I hope you will meet me in the strength of your needs, acknowledging them and meeting your own needs even when that is hard. I hope you will meet me in the strength of your love for your self, strong in the conviction that you are worthy of love, that you embody love itself. I value you, the you that is true to yourself. I love even when that is hard, even when valuing your strength is accompanied by sadness.

I will be strong. I will be strong enough to share my feelings, my needs, to stand up for myself. I will be strong enough to love myself and to embody love.

Compromise is not weakness, nor is working together, growing and changing. Even so, our needs will inevitably conflict. That will be a true test of strength. I hope we will meet each other in strength, treating each other with compassion and love as we each stand up for our own needs, owning what is ours, respecting each others' boundaries. I value that kind of strength and love. Facing this may hurt, but I value this above surrendering one's integrity. I value others in their choices, their growth, their own journeys.

I hope you will join me in this strength.

Commentary

Meeting in the strength of love means the lover trusting the beloved to know themselves and to share their needs and feelings openly. We do not try to decide what someone is feeling, but instead ask them and work with them to explore their feelings and boundaries. We trust our beloved is strong enough to let us know about their boundaries just as they trust us to ask for consent and explore their needs and boundaries.
We are strong enough to face the ephemeral aspects of love and support our beloved as they change and sacrifice just as they support us on our journey. We know that our paths may carry us apart, but we value them enough not to hold them away from growth even if that creates distance or separation. We trust them to value us and to work to remain close as they are able.
We are strong enough to share doubts, fears and to be open to working through these.
Ultimately we are strong enough to do what we need in order to maintain our integrity, even when that is difficult or involves great sacrifice. There can be no love without the risk of sacrifice.