Anna enjoys sharing her feelings with her husband Paul. She also needs to know what he is feeling and thinking in return. When she is unable to communicate with him, she feels neglected and unloved.
Although Paul does love Anna, he does not enjoy communicating as much as she does and feels very uncomfortable sharing his feelings, mostly because he is not very familiar with them. Also, when he is aware of his feelings, he is ashamed to share them because he fears this will lessen his “manhood”.
This constructs a conflict of needs. The more Anna pressures Paul to open up and communicate, the more he withdraws and avoids her. If she pressures him too much, he angrily pushes her away.
As a result, Anna feels rejected and unloved, while Paul feels pressured and suppressed. The more Paul avoids Anna and does not fulfill her needs, the more negative, critical and accusatory she becomes. In response to AnnaΥs negative reactions, Paul avoids her even more.
He feels she does not understand his needs and refuses to accept him as he is. She feels he does not love her and that he rejects her as a woman and a partner in life.
Anna is unhappy and completely unsatisfied with her marriage. Her needs are not being fulfilled. Paul directs his attention to other activities, such as work, sports and recreation with friends.
Both are susceptible to others of the opposite sex who they believe will truly “understand” them.
In this case, two individuals, who actually love each other, have become victims of their own programming and needs. Their attachments, fears and lack of communication skills are destroying their relationship and their happiness. They both need to understand the beliefs creating their fears and attachments in order to put themselves in the other’s position, understand the otherΥs needs, and communicate more openly and clearly.
Anna might need to learn some combination of the following lessons:
1. To feel safe and worthy even when she cannot share her feelings with Paul.
2. To feel close to others even when they do not open up to her.
3. To feel her self-worth even when others (especially Paul) do not respond to her .
4. To feel people’s love even when they are not able to respond to her, realizing that they have problems.
5. To feel safe with persons without knowing their emotions or thoughts.
6. To solve her own problems without needing to get feedback from others.
7. To realize that she is not the victim and take responsibility for the reality she is creating.
8. To allow Paul to take responsibility for his reality and not feel that she is responsible when he is not happy.
Paul might need to learn some combination of the following lessons:
1. To accept his emotions.
2. To acknowledge his feelings and needs and share them with his wife.
3. To accept that men too feel fear and rejection and need affirmation and love.
4. To feel free to be himself and cease fearing his wife’s criticism.
5. To free his self-worth from what his wife thinks and does.
6. To communicate more honestly with his wife.
7. To pay more attention to her needs.
POSSIBLE POSITIVE BELIEFS
In order to change the way we feel and behave, we need to change what we believe. Our beliefs create our emotions and behaviors. Let us examine some positive beliefs that they could develop so as to create a more positive reality.
Anna might benefit from developing some of the following beliefs:
1. I feel close to my husband regardless of how much he can share with me.
2. I am safe and loved even when my husband is unable to communicate.
3. Life provides me with exactly what I need in order to learn my next lesson.
4. I dynamically create my reality with or without my husband.
5. I accept and love myself regardless of his behavior.
6. I understand his difficulty to communicate and love him as he is.
Paul might benefit from developing some of the following beliefs:
1. I feel safe and comfortable communicating my feelings to my wife.
2. I accept my feelings and share them with my loved ones in order to create deeper love relationships.
3. I am free to be myself in every situation.
4. I enjoy sharing my inner world with my beloved wife.
5. In each moment life provides me with exactly what I need to learn my next lesson.