Here it is, our final installment to the Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus series! 🙂 😦 InshaAllah I will index this series – and all the other books I have done – soon where they are easily accessible.
Keeping Love Alive
When everything is going well and we feel loved in a relationship, we may sometimes find ourselves suddenly emotionally distancing our partner or reacting to them in unloving ways. For example, you may be perfectly content and happy with your partner and then you suddenly feel insecure about your relationship. These sudden shifts in feeling may be confusing, but they are common and there is a perfectly good explanation for them 🙂
Do not think that your love has died. Actually, it is because that love was strong and you felt secure that it thawed out old repressed/unresolved feelings. These feelings come up to be healed. The pain of the past is projected onto the present. Things that normally would not be a big deal hurt a lot.
If we can successfully deal with those feelings, then we’ll feel better and it will actually enliven our loving potential. If we don’t deal with them effectively, we’ll only end up fighting and blaming our partner instead of healing our past.
The 90/10 Rule
Generally, when we are upset, 90% of the upset is related to our past and has nothing to do with what we think is upsetting us. Only 10% has to do with the present situation.
When Your Partner’s Feelings Surface
First, recognize that when your partner seems to be overreacting to a situation, it is probably because of old stuff they need to deal with 😦 Do not tell them that they are overreacting or respond to them in a negative way.
Men usually go to their cave. They need space and acceptance at this time. Women descend down into their well. They need lots of loving care at this time. In either situation, give your spouse time to cool down and gather themselves.
When YOUR Feelings Surface
Before you go to your spouse, try to calm yourself by understanding your own feelings. The love letter technique that we discussed would work here. Or, of course, you could give yourself a mental pep talk too 😉 The point is to go to your spouse after you’ve sorted your feelings out; or tried to.You may find yourself upset about a plethora of things from the past.
Once you are cool, talk to your partner about what you discovered. They’ll feel much better knowing that it wasn’t entirely their fault that you were in such a stink 🙂
To heal our feelings, we have to share the. But we fear sharing those feelings – like fear and shame. And when we are experiencing such deep, dark feelings, they are often projected onto the one we love most and feel secure with – our partners.
It’s a paradox: because you feel safe with your partner, your deepest fears have a chance to surface. When they surface, you become afraid and are unable to share what you feel. Your fear may even may you numb. This is a good time for a therapist to step in 🙂 (The author’s words, of course, not mine)
If I picked up anything from this book, it’s about understanding how different men and women are. We do not have to change for our partners, but we do have to understand where they are coming from and change our approach towards them.
Love is a cycle, just like everything else. It has its seasons as well. Things go up and down; couples fight and love. It is all part of the natural process of things. And even with these new insights to relationships, the opposite gender and even ourselves, know that change does not happen over night.
Accepting and understanding our differences is what is important. Appreciating what your partner does try to do is important, because every small change that we make to our first instinct takes lots of will power and conscious effort.
And remember what our goal is in the end, truly. Make lots of du’aa` and try your best. May God bless all your marriages 🙂