The list is long of the sundry ways we can suffer in a marriage or romantic relationship. We can, for starters, feel controlled, trapped, restricted, deprived, refused, criticized, belittled, disrespected, betrayed, rejected, abandoned, undervalued, and unloved.
If we’re really eager for punishment, we can feel many of these painful emotions at the same time, for much of the day and night. This inevitably produces growing resentment against one’s partner because we blame our partner for the strife that we ourselves are determined to experience and act out.
On the surface of our awareness, we all want tender love and intimacy. But deeper down we can have an unconscious program in place to act out negative emotions that are unresolved from childhood.
Of course, happy marriages and romantic unions exist in large number. Yet the more we are dysfunctional or neurotic, the more likely we are to turn our relationship into a turbulent free-for-all that is doomed to end in divorce.
Unresolved issues can converge around marriage and intimate relationships like singles at a love fest. Why? The hurt of feeling wronged by someone we are intimate with can be so much more intense. Thwarted love can be the greatest of all hurts, especially when we’re blind to the depths of our own contrariness. The thrill of new love is often a homing beacon for the desolation of rejection, betrayal, and abandonment.
Divorce is usually a result of our own failure to escape the clutches of self-suffering. We lug into marriage our toolkit for making misery; we stagger way from the divorce settlement unwilling to part with that baggage. [Read more...]