“It is one thing to see others suffer, but it is a very different thing to suffer oneself. The arguments and sympathy which we give to others in the hours of trial seem poor and inadequate in our own case.” – Basil W. Maturin
This is a basic human problem. We all ‘suffer’ about something or a lot of somethings at any given time. The problem is we are usually our own worst enemy.
A young couple I recently had the privilege, (and I always consider my clients a ‘privilege’ for me), came for marriage counseling. To share oneself intimately with a total stranger takes faith and courage.
At any rate her problem basically was that she felt insecure and her husband felt like he always had to watch what he said and did to not get her upset. A bad pattern.
She was usually licking her wounds and feeling unloved and he was watch her reactions all the time. So, both were looking out for HER! He was the one that almost always came to her with a hug or kiss to make it better and move on.
In one of our sessions she was able to hear that it was not her ‘inadequacy’ that was his issue; sometimes the guy just had a bad mood. She was also able to hear that he would like HER to hug or give him a kiss to move the process along and not ruin a day, week, year… life!
Many couples get into really bad patterns; often for years, and can’t break them or do not get help to change the pattern.
It really is each partner’s own responsibility for what the relationship is or becomes.
We all want to protect ourselves emotionally.
We all have criteria and feelings that signal how we think and react.
How good it is to work with couples, young enough not ruin their entire lives and rise to the occasion, if you will, of looking at what their impact is on one another.
It is easy to just concentrate on oneself. It is easy to get hurt.
It is easy to fan the flame of anger and resentment.
What is difficult is to break the pattern and only each individual can do that themselves.
What is the ‘limit’ for one is not the same for the other.
When people say put yourself in ‘their’ shoes, that is easier said than done. No matter what the issue; but especially with the one you love and live with.
My client was constantly comparing herself to other women. Some she thought more beautiful. Others, thinner, and others with whatever qualities she felt she lacked.
Most women have a tendency to do that. Sometimes it helps us work on our own ‘stuff.’
But the bottom line is always how you feel about you at your core.
If a thousand-people said something negative about you, if you felt good about yourself, it would have no effect. It’s how YOU feel about YOU that matters.
No partner can make that good feeling happen. It can help if he or she is loving and expresses it but the core is solely up to you.
Some people have been ‘damaged’ as children. Some crumble and feel badly all their lives as a result. However, there are others that take it for what it is, consider the source and rise above it. Sometimes it makes people stronger and even more secure within themselves.
Getting hurt feelings out is necessary, in any form. Being angry or even furious is normal a lot of the time.
It’s who submits to love and reaching out to the other that is the question.
Is it always the same person? Does that system work in that particular relationship?
More often than not and quite interestingly it is frequently the male partner that submits.
Does that mean he cares more? Maybe. OR, maybe he really doesn’t want to be reminded of that mother who made him feel rejected if he didn’t do her bidding!
Whatever the case the bottom line is to get the good feelings back on track and shared.
Sex can have a role here and it can ‘save’ the day. Nothing wrong with that. That’s what got them together in the first place!
Forgiveness is what I call emotional currency. More important than any dollars you will ever earn!
Submit and find happiness!!
“When you are unhappy or dissatisfied, is there anything in the world more maddening than to be told that you should be contented with your lot?” – Kathleen Norris