There are times in every relationship when your partner will do or say something that will shock you.
It could be a small thing that just keeps irritating you even though you’ve told them it upsets you, but they carry on not seeming to care or…
…It could be a big thing that helps you question if you really know the person you are living with.
When our partner hurts us emotionally it can affect us very deeply. So if this happens what do we all want to do?
The moment our partner causes us emotional pain our instinct is to slip into our own individual patterns of behaviour that we habitually do when this kind of pain happens to us.
These reactionary habits can vary from person to person, some chose a full on counter attack, some shut-down, some become defensiveness and some escape either emotionally or physically.
Some are so angry they want to inflict equal or more emotional pain back, some remove themselves and go to others to connect and share their pain and the injustice.
No matter what the habitual behaviour there is one common action nearly all individuals practice and that’s to ‘hold back their love’.
They do this for three reasons. First it feels like the right thing to do plus we may have seen others do it. Secondly many want to punish their partner for hurting them and they assume this will teach them a lesson. Thirdly holding back our love is a means to protect ourselves.
The question is does holding back our love lead us to our real goal?
For many holding back our love seems like the only choice especially when they have been let down by those that claim to love them.
This of course is only one way to look at this situation and is more like to destroy their relationship through erosion over time.
For all adults in serious relationships having emotional maturity is key to a lasting and loving relationship.
Part of that maturity is behaving consistently with what you say you value. Behaving in conflict to our values causes us to feel bad about ourselves. Saying trust is important and then not trusting yourself is as bad as saying love is important and not being loving. We are either living true to our personal values or we are not.
So if a loving person holds back their love they are in conflict with themselves in that moment. You see the moment you are not living true to what you say you value, that action can cause us emotional pain because we are in conflict with our own self and worse our core identity.
So if we try to punish our partner what we will discover is we are causing ourselves pain too. Holding back our love is a punishment we use to rebalance our relationships and it never works in the long-term because both people are being negatively affected.
If a person feels they have to withhold love to teach their partner a lesson or to protect themselves emotionally they must learn how to interrupt this destructive pattern, especially if deep down they want to keep the relationship.
My message today is punishments in relationships simply don’t work! The moment a person holds back their love they are part of the problem too.
There is however far more effective ways to understand and get through to each other that gets your point across without destroying the relationship and putting ourselves in conflict with ourselves.
If your interested to learn more contact us today.