Relationship Advice Tips by Dr. Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Unable to make a decision, Blair was paralyzed!
Have you ever wished the universe would come along and choose between the two voices inside you that both want their way?
It would be a huge relief if you didn’t have to pick one side of you in favor of the other. That is what Blair desperately wanted. He hoped that his desire to finish a night school course would carry him through to the end. But he also wanted to be with his wife and kids to make sure that they didn’t drift apart and leave him behind. Indecision was using up all his energy.
A fever, the chills and a bad stomach came to Blair’s rescue.
When Blair focused on finishing school and applying for better paid jobs he allowed himself to dream of the big house with a pool in the back, the two car garage housing classy wheels, and a big den with the latest in home entertainment systems. That dream motivated him to want to get his projects done for class, graduate and get on the ladder to the top.
In class Blair found it hard to pay attention and get immersed in the material. He thought of his wife and kids doing things without him. He imagined that they would get so used to being a threesome without dad, that they would barely notice his absence. Blair would have a mini panic when he imagined his family passing him by when he was stuck doing homework or learning for tests.
The loneliness of doing his class work and feeling deprived of fun with his family took Blair away from the pleasant dream. He felt resentful and uninterested in learning. His brain shut down as he experienced the pull of togetherness with family that had to be sacrificed in order to improve his credentials and earn better compensation.
The stress of indecision made him sick!
As the day for class rolled around again Blair was irritable. The tension he felt between the two sides of him had escalated to fever pitch. He wasn’t sleeping or eating properly. His stomach felt tender and he felt himself shaking as he drove to work. Fearful that he wouldn’t be able to make it safely to work he turned around and went back home. Blair tried to stabilize himself as he sat in a chair. He felt hot and his shaking got worse. The thermometer registered a fever. That was enough to make him feel justified in getting into bed and pulling the covers up around his neck. Indecision didn’t bother him when he was sick.
The fever pitch of impossible choices became a fever in Blair’s body
- Fever and the shakes relieved Blair of the no win situation that his conflict had put him in.
- He didn’t have to go to school because he was sick.
- He didn’t have to focus on boring materials and worry about passing the class.
- He didn’t have to be concerned with his wife and children having fun and leaving him behind. They were right there, at home with him, caring and supportive.
- He didn’t have to feel the tension and frustration of indecision
The fever and chills remove the tension of indecision
A day later Blair’s fever broke. During the worst of the fever he had slept a lot. It was a big relief not to be conscious of the painful conflict he had been struggling with. He had gotten off the see saw of big dreams versus family connection and that felt good.
Blair felt rested, stronger and able to eat again. His emotions were balanced again. The tensions that had reached fever pitch before he got sick, were now broken by an actual fever in his body.
Blair’s conflict between the two sides of him that wouldn’t make peace was like a poison in his emotional blood. All the tensions of indecisiveness had been transferred to his body, which used a fever as a way of fighting the toxins. He was restored to a healthy place both physically and psychologically.
The conflict was no longer pressing, urging or causing tension. It had been destroyed as if it had been a virus or germ, fought off by his immune system. The fever burned the poisonous conflict and eliminated it for a while.
Can Blair maintain his emotional balance without having to get sick again?
Changing from an all or nothing vision to a mix and match scenario is the only way Blair can prevent his conflict from starting up again.
He doesn’t have to choose between different parts of himself, since both choices are normal, healthy and manageable. No impossible choices means no problem with indecisiveness.
What Blair can do is to share his fear of drifting apart from his wife and kids and being left alone with credentials that don’t buy the kind of satisfaction he needs.
Together Blair and his wife can create opportunities to have family time, adult couple time and time for him to study that feeds all parts of him.
Blair doesn’t have to figure it out all alone. He can involve his family and make sure that they grow together rather than apart.
Then Blair will feel a new desire to go to class, concentrate, do his homework and graduate.
No conflict, no indecision, no fever, no having to check out of life to eradicate unbearable choices – all he has to do is reach out and involve his nearest and dearest.
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
Disclaimer: this article is for informational and educative purposes only. There is no liability on the part of Dr. Raymond for any reactions you may have when reading the article or using the suggestions therein. Interacting with this material does not constitute a therapeutic relationship with Dr. Raymond.