Building a protective wall around us when emotional challenges strike in a marriage is a fairly normal process. The goal is usually to create security for that individual because life is not the way it should be.
He doesn’t care, she’s always negative, he never listens, she is aggressive and cold…
The question is, does this emotional wall work to create the security the person is after?
In the short-term the person can feel relief because when they shut down they can numb the pain they are experiencing.
The challenge the wall creates is it builds a 2 way block, the person will block out the pain, but they will also block out what they really need to be happy. This creates real problems for any marriage because it heads them to loss of respect and the end of the marriage.
[I have used a female in this example, but males will do their version of this too.]
If a female has tried and tried to get through to her husband and failed, she will stack her resentments towards him and eventually feel that she has no choice, but to create her own strength because he is not there for her in the way she needs.
It’s like she puts on a suit of armor so he can no longer hurt her.
So two things are happening.
Firstly she feels she can’t be honest with him about how she feels, because she can’t get through to him. This will result in her no longer sharing her true feelings. If she does share her feelings they are likely to be picking or aggressive attacks.
This means she will have lost trust. She will also stop giving to him, at this point her desire to give him what he needs is low because the trust is challenged.
This combination of a lack of desire to be honest because there is no point and little desire to give, helps her detach from him.
The detachments works to block the pain, BUT it creates a possibility for the relationship to die as she will start to lose her feelings for him, this blocks her passion for him and the relationship.
She might say “I love you, but I’m not in love with you”.
Instead of discovering the truth in the relationship the process of detachment actually causes destruction.
Her focus in the relationship changes, from giving values such as love and passion to her new focus on lack of trust and a need for security.
This natural shift blocks her from discovering the truth in her marriage because the more she pulls her love away from her partner, the chances are he will be doing the same strengthening her belief the marriage is wrong.
The marriage is not necessarily wrong he is just protecting himself too.
The marriage will definitely feel wrong if both people do this. This is a massive challenge because most people are far to seduced by what they feel and in this place of trusting what they feel they will block the desire to search for the truth in their marriage.
If both people pull their love away they will lose the growth and the connection they need to survive.
In essence they are no longer themselves in the marriage. Many individuals complain they hate who they have become in their marriage.
The hope here for any couple is that this state does not have to be permanent. The couple can reconnect once they start to understand each other differently.
The trust can be rebuilt and the couple can learn how to become themselves in the marriage again.
The process of detachment and building the wall is a natural process and is designed to protect us however it will also help the marriage to die and so learning what’s really happening in your marriage is critical before you kill the one thing you have tried to keep.
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