Do you constantly weight up the pros and cons of breaking up and separating, hoping against hope that some miracle will happen and save you from bitter disappointment? Then there is definitely something there that you can work on. You don't really want to separate, but you can't live a life of pretense any longer. You missed out on premarital counseling when you might have seen more of your partner and revised your ideas of married life. So what can you do now?
Have you been the one to take care of family when others bailed out or abandoned you? Are you the one that keeps family members together at the expense of your own life? Perhaps you felt righteous, strong and saintly doing what needed to be done when everyone else behaved irresponsibly. .Over time the anger turns to rage, and the rage burns you. It makes you want to inflict on your family members what you went through. Suppressed anger makes you exhausted, stressed and unable to concentrate on your work or your routine tasks. Buried anger affects your sleep and your eating patterns. You can no longer live trapped and almost strangled to death by the anger that you have stored up against your family members you use you, abuse your sense of responsibiity and take advantage of your saintliness.
How often has money become a deal breaker in your relationship? It happens a lot, doesn't it ! Either you don't agree on how the money should be spent, or who deserves to make the choice. Money is often the heat that inflames a relationship where there is already some tension and power differentials. When one partner gives money to the other, or other people in a unilateral fashion, all sorts of insecurities and stresses build up. Conflict becomes a permanent feature of interactions and the underlying motivations are lost. So here are a few of the hidden motivations behind using money to manage relationships.
After a relaxing weekend, thirty-three year old Daniel hated when he felt that feeling in the pit of his stomach, reminding him that a new week was about to begin. He enjoyed his two-days-a-week off so much that the transition was painful and anxiety provoking. The thought of leaving his ‘treasure island’ and re-entering the world of reality made him nauseous as he prepared to tear himself away from his personal paradise of ‘do-nothing-and relax’ time. He had to up date his financial records; getting the flyers and ads out for new listings he had procured for his real estate business and keep appointments with his ten-year-old son Drew’s school meetings. He had to go back to being a robot to get through this week, just like every other. The only way he could get himself ready for the job was to whip himself into a state of frenzy and panic – imagining the urgency with which he had to attend to the tasks as hand, for if he didn’t – he was a lazy, useless, unproductive, undeserving layabout!
Filled with excitement and carried away by romance you imagine the fairy tale of living happily ever after. You do everything you can to protect yourself against anticipating the adjustments you will have to make when living together as fallible human beings. But marriage turns the rose colored glasses you wore into lenses of disappointment, resentment, anger and mistrust - especially when your impending marriage is primarily an exit strategy from controlling or rejecting and abandoning parents.
Are you envious of other peoples relationships? Are you consumed with frustration that other people seem to get what they want and have the 'perfect' relationship while you are struggling to get off the ground? When you are feeling unfulfilled and unhappy in your own relationship, other couples are viewed in idealistic terms. You imagine that just because they are out together or buying groceries together that their relationship must be warm and stress free. You wan the same thing! You don't know why you can't have it, and you feel life is treating you unfairly, despite you being a 'good' person. Thats what happened to thirty-seven year old Jocelyn after her marriage ended in divorce.
Have you ever wondered whether your partner doesn't want you, or doesn't want to commit to anyone? You've probably tried hard to evoke that spark in your partner that touches your heart and makes you feel like you are "the one!" Sometimes you feel he has finally chosen to invest in you, and a few days later you feel empty as he withdraws the total deposit! Is he Jekyll and Hyde? He says all the right things and does what's expected but you can tell his heart isn't into it. You are left confused and wondering whether there is something wrong with him whether you are the problem. Your friends and family tell you that your partner is probably a commitment phobe! But how do you find out if he isn't interested in committing to anyone, or just to you.
Angela and Josh a newly married couple were at logger heads about Angela's mother telling him how to treat and take care of her daughter. She kept calling and texting him about Angela's food needs, her anxieties, her need to get pregnant and the need for child to be a son. Josh tried to talk to Angela about his distaste for being told how to be a good husband by his mother-in-law, but Angela secretly smiled. She was thrilled that her mother was on Josh's back to do the 'right thing' by her, because she was too scared to do it herself. She loved that her mother was her champion, and whipping up her husband to do the same. What Angela didn't appreciate was that Josh was feeling emasculated and furious. He was angry about the temerity of his mother-in-law to tell him what to do, as if he knew nothing of his wife's needs. He was fuming that he wasn't given a chance to find his feet in his new role as a husband., But most of all he was livid that his wife enjoyed seening him as a puppet controlled by her mother.
Do you know what messages your body language gives your partner? Do you know how to read the signals of defense rather than togetherness? When you are fighting for your point of you, to be made right, and win the battle, then your relationship is in jeopoardy. So alert yourself to the behaviors that stress the "I" part of you, where the couple part is demoted. Then tune into the behaviors that stress the "we" part of the couple so your relationship can survive and thrive.
Anger and hatred often go together when you don't get cared for in the way you want and expect. If your expectations and hopes are dashed over and over again, the anger and loathing get bigger and more ferocious. But you are probably too scared to let it out. You feel love and hate for the person at the same time. These two contrary feelings put you in a bind. You can't walk away, and you can't express your rage. You fear that if the one you are upset with will crumble. Then you won't have anyone to be be attached to, and being alone is more frightening. You imagine that the person you are mad at doesn't care about you - in fact they hate you and are just one step away from walking out on you! So you keep it all in, seething inside with no room for anything else. All that scary anger makes your body release stress hormones to cope with the intense anger that threatens your heart, blood pressure, digestive system and mental well-being.