March 24, 2011
March 24, 2011
“Who are you seeing behind my back?”, is a question that I frequently hear between couples.
There are the valid complaints where phone records, unaccounted for time from each other, or actual sightings confirm the doubts.
However, in this article I will be addressing unfounded fears: where there is no loss of time or missing money, no phone calls, no time unaccounted for, yet the spouse is still claiming the mate is having an affair. Frequently those fears lead to aggressive nagging and/or physical abuse.
The accuser has let his/her imagination run wild because of the fear of losing the love of the spouse. Unfortunately the story one tells ones self that results in harassment causes the innocent partner to withdraw the very loving feelings that the accuser is wanting. Feeling the withdrawal, the accuser determines that the fears are justified and that becomes the basis of further indictments. The accuser needs help.
The accuser has no self confidence for if that person had a strong ego, s/he would decide (no matter how much in love with the mate) that life would go on without the other, if necessary, after a period of painful separation. The healthy personality would check for accuracy of the suspicion and determine that it was a minor blip in ones own imagination and dismiss the thoughts. However, the accuser personality feels as if life will end if the mate is no longer available.
A way to aid one of an overactive imagination based on insecurity is to focus on creating a better ego structure. Sometimes it is constructive to have the fearful one replay the courtship which attracted the mates to agree upon a permanent relationship in the first place. Re-establishing ties once held is very effective. Yet, often the accuser feels so burnt out from her/his own concerns that it is difficult to re-establish the atmosphere where love can flourish. Part of the problem is that the accuser (although s/he is the aggressor) feels as if s/he is the victim.
As counseling improves the ability to feel good about oneself, the advisor needs to point out that competition of any type has to begin with improving oneself from the day before. No matter what the competition, whether it is for a loved one, for a sport or work competition; one can only take the improvement to the next level higher than ones own previous experience. Those who compete in any field forget that and try to be better than the other competitors. Once a person improves his or her own self, the tension and fear is eliminated because the new behavior establishes a stronger ego; not an ego ripped apart by fear which also causes anxiety that decreases focusing on the real issues and therefore disallows progress.
A positive viewpoint laced with laughter can start to improve the relationship. Even if you have to use canned jokes or watch comic movies on TV together; Laugh together. Drop the tears and your life will be smooth again.