She cried, he snored. Lessons in love (1)

July 29, 2015 § Leave a comment

I have been in a relationship for quite some time – 11 years, to be precise (but who’s counting?). I’m not saying this to convey the fact that my long-standing relationship is in any way authorizing me to give marriage advice. Having grown up together we still fight (now more than ever, it seems), still want to bite each other’s head off… and still love each other (or so it seems).

I am writing this only as a means of crystallizing my experience. And if it helps anyone else, in any way, that makes me happy.

Episode 1. License to love = license to kill?

It seems that when you are involved with someone you tend to get on top of each other, and I don’t mean this is an erotic way. I mean that being in a relationship seems to makes us think that violence and abuse are allowed. How do we define violence and abuse? It can mean anything from beating your husband with a stick, to calling her names, to emotional blackmail to repeatedly neglecting your partner’s needs and wants.

There are 2 things that make violence and abuse ‘the template’:

1. Growing up with this pattern. When violence and abuse are our reality as children and teenagers, it becomes increasingly difficult to detach ourselves from these schemas; we tend to replicate them in our adult lives because they are a big part of us, they are the known part in the unknown.

2. Roles that fit us. Couples where there are big issues but who survive are able to do so because they have found roles that fit them. One is the pursuer, the other the distancer. Of course the dance between the pursuer and the distancer is a very painful one (because the two don’t often really meet) but it quickly becomes the daily reality. Lack of self-awareness and situational awareness only aggravate this painful scenario. U2 put it beautifully ‘You got stuck in a moment and you can’t get out of it’. Except you don’t even know you’re stuck…

– to be continued-

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