Do you ever wonder whether your partner has the capacity to love you , just for being you, rather than what you do for them? Are you often disheartened that your partner seems to focus on what you have done or not done, rather than care about your experiences? Maybe you had a similar experience of 'love' from a parent, who never seemed interested or joyful in your company, let alone genuinely into whatever was exciting for you. You know that feeling, when you long to share your joy or sadness, but instead of tuning into you and being happy with you and for you, the interaction switches to being about what they are needing from you. And, its not until you fulfill that need that you are 'loved.'
Are you shocked when your partner suddenly turns nasty? Do you wonder what on earth made someone you love become angry, hostile and aggressive in their attitude towards you? Does it feel like they have a surprising well of hatred directed at you? Perhaps you cower in fear until your partner calms down, not daring to breathe in case the hostile attitude becomes physically violent. Maybe you try to stand up for your side of the story but find that you are drowned out, mocked and or dismissed. But when all is said and done, you’re still left wondering how it got this way. You still don’t understand what makes your partner so mean and even cruel when you haven’t done anything different and are not knowingly provoking them. This was exactly the puzzle facing 35-year-old Cara, a school nurse, who loved and cared for her partner Miles, a 38-year-old district sales manager for a soft drinks firm. They both loved their 3 young children, and had a good standard of living. The only problem was that Cara frequently got destabilized when Miles suddenly flew off the handle and either accused her of being disloyal, or devalued her role in the family by suggesting that her financial contribution was insignificant and she cared more about the kids in school she worked at than her own.