An intimate relationship can be like PMS — without the gender discrimination. Men and women alike can look on, feeling out of sorts, as their issues surface.
Issues? Those are the things that — when triggered — make you grit your teeth or cry or run the other way or scream profanities. You could say, “Ah, I believe you just hit on a sore spot, please give me a moment,” but you probably don’t.
Our partners are the ones most apt to break through our outer skin to what’s vulnerable, with what can seem like a hot poker. When they do, we can jump to defend ourselves, without ever consciously feeling the pain. And the battle begins…or the relationship ends.
For years, my indignation masked my pain. I didn’t want to play second fiddle — to anything. If I wasn’t getting enough attention and he had time for sports, friends, charity or most anything else besides working and sleeping, it could trigger my insecurity…and another ending. Had I known how wonderful I was, I wouldn’t have been so caught up in making sure my partner did!
Yes, with a better understanding of why it’s important, I still want to be a priority. And no, I don’t scream or run. But on occasion I still feel the poker, albeit, it doesn’t seem nearly as hot.
When we have committed to somebody and know we don’t really want to run or scream, or repress the pain, we don’t have a lot of options. I have to be honest with myself about what I’m feeling and why, and work toward a healthier me and a healthier relationship.
And I tend to ask questions, of myself and my partner, in the process. When I do, I may trigger an issue for my sweetheart. He wants to be trusted…and sometimes it seems like he also wants to be infallible.
Neither of us is infallible, though. We’re both human. And when two humans get close enough to each other, they will touch the sore spots, ignite old insecurities or trigger the issues they have yet to heal!
But, hey, the love and acceptance of an intimate relationship gives us a safe place to acknowledge and heal our wounds, right? Yes, it does — ideally, at least.
We’ve all figured out that it’s not easy, though. We can’t assume responsibility for a partner’s issues any more than we can give them responsibility for ours, but not personalizing a partner’s issues can be an epic challenge.
If the police officer talks down to you, no problem — maybe he’s having a bad day. But when your sweetheart talks down to you — whether he (or she) is having a bad day or not — it’s tough not to take it personally.
After all, he knows you. And if he doesn’t like you or respect you, where does that leave you? Well, it could leave you feeling unlovable. Or it could leave you feeling like you’re with the wrong person.
Remember that you are loveable. Then, even if you are with the wrong person, you can keep your head above water. Maybe you can even keep it on your shoulders and try to do something constructive. Generally, that’s not running or screaming.
And if you are in a loving relationship, trust that your sweetheart loves you. Trust that he (or she) is on your side, even when it feels like he’s slapping you in the face, because if you forget that and slap back, you both lose.
If you can’t say something nice, kiss him. If you can’t do that, you might just keep your mouth shut until you can. That should give you both time to look at your issues!