Master your fears in your relationship
Up to 75% of my clients have experienced some form of anxiety about speaking up when they’re upset in their marriages.
Have you ever felt the pang of any of these crippling fears bubble up during a dark moment in your relationship?
If my partner disapproves of me, he/she will abandon me.
If my partner rejects me, I (or we) won’t be able to recover.
Asserting myself might backfire & destroy everything that’s good between us.
If these worries are reminiscent of the heart-contracting, vigilance-raising reactions you experience in your relationship, there are good reasons why they probably feel threatening and are all too familiar.
As children, our physical and psychological survival depended on our ability to remain connected to our caregivers. For some children this required stifling, diminishing, or denying their own needs.
As human beings, we reflexively assume that what we needed to do to keep a parent close is what we’ll need to keep doing in order to stay connected to our adult intimate partner as well.
Unfortunately, for many adult partners this means stifling, disavowing or silently enduring their own upsets - resulting in disappointment, resentments, anger, and hurt accumulating inside ALONGSIDE disconnection or loneliness in their marriages.
Can you relate?
If you can, my challenge to you is to ask yourself these three questions when worries of disapproval or rejection arise, so you can start thinking with more of a growth mindset for yourself and your relationship.
How have your childhood experiences impacted your assumptions about how safe it is to feel your feelings, to be angry, or to talk about your disappointments or upsets?
How might these old relationship blueprints be keeping you from sharing more of yourself authentically and vulnerably with your partner today?
What do you need in order to comfort your inner child and reassure him or her that your present relationship can handle big scary feelings?