For example: I remember a man complaining that his partner was not respectful in the way she treated him and spoke to him. For him to feel respected he had to feel loved. This means love was more important to him than respect.
We now know love is an important value to him, so unless he felt important he wouldn’t give his love to her as a punishment. He didn’t want to reward her behaviour.
Of course this scared her and so she became more anxious resulting in her communicating her fear which is translated by him as not being respectful and unloving.
He saw her behaviours as unloving but, in reality so was he!
He would only give love and respect if she did. This means she is the strength in the relationship and he is in conflict with his own values.
By pulling love away he is not showing her resect or love, but he says this is important so now he is inconflict with himself and her. In fact he had so many rules for love and respect that for him to feel loved was not easy and she knew it hence her years of fears.
Unconditional love was one of their solutions, but both felt too fearful to give it. If the role of the man is to keep his family safe and secure and if he has gone to fear who is looking after her? Her fear now doubles and over time she sees him as weaker than her, he become less attractive and so the intimacy dies, of course all he will feel is the loss of her respect.
She now resents him because she feels to stay in the relationship she cannot be her. For some this can lead to depression.
So what does your partner expect from you, that you know they can’t, or won’t give?
If you need help please don’t hesitate to make contact.