July 20, 2001
July 20, 2001
As you read this fear reaction between the couple, determine whether it
sounds as if they love each other or hate each other:
SHE: You Son of a B---- you always go out with your friends. You watch
TV. (Or it might be he goes fishing, hunting, card playing, etc.)
HE: You never want me to have time off to enjoy myself. I need time to
SHE: What about me? I never get time to relax.
HE: That's because you're not organized.
SHE: You lousy, lazy --------.
HE: You're a terrible mother. I ought to call CPS.
Most of the time, the couple love each other even though the exchange
The dynamics of the relationship needs to be explored. The woman fears
she is losing her husband. He doesn't want to spend time with her. She feels
undesirable, unloved, and abandoned. She (or it could be He that is the accuser)
wants to spend more time together. The behavior has disintegrated to about the
three year old level. The child kicks you in the shins because you haven't been
paying attention to her/him. Well what parent feels loving towards an infant that
asks for love in that manner? Certainly we will hardly want to spend five minutes
or even consider making love with a fire breathing dragon of a fe/male.
This behavior is not much different. The actions are instinctual as I
mentioned in the previous column on Fear.
Identifying the fear of losing time, love, or the relationship is the
first step to putting the situation in the proper perspective.
Search for the issue. When you have identified the fear, the issue
S/HE: I want more quality time with you. I love you.
Wow! It didn't sound like it. They sound as if they are the worst
enemies in the world. Indeed, even they believe it. The article, "Anomie and Love"
in the magazine, Marriage and Family Living which I wrote in 1980, began "I'm
not in love anymore." I commenced that way because that is a recurrent theme which
I have heard these twenty-three years of counseling couples.
The solution is so simple. Question yourself. What do you want? Why do
you want it?
Then state it.
SH/E: I love you. I want to have more fun time with you.
If you try this and you get frozen out, or get fired back at; you need to
explore what is causing the opposite reaction from the one you desire.
Now there may be a new set of circumstances that are obliterating the
issue. The spouse may feel frustrated that s/he can not envision any way to make the
day longer to accommodate his/her needs and the needs of the family. This
thought precedes the answer and another Fear response continues the spiral of
miscommunication and misunderstandings.
Watch for more columns on the subject of how Fear which was meant to aid
humans to protect themselves now works as a double edge sword.