In this Halloweeny time of year when we’re focused on silly spooks and haunts, I sometimes find myself thinking about some of our deeper fears…
Imagine yourself walking into a creepy haunted house…. Your heart is racing, your breath is short, you feel on alert. But you have a tight hold onto the hand of your loved one – so you feel safe. You know that she will not let go. Something scary could jump out and get you at any moment, but you know it will be okay because you are with your wife – the two of you will handle it together.
Suddenly, your husband drops your hand and runs ahead into the dark. You are alone. You feel betrayed, hurt, confused….. and SCARED!
Though this scenario obviously has a special Halloween theme to it (hey, I like this time of year!!), I would venture to bet that the feelings described are familiar to you. When we take that risk to make ourselves open and vulnerable in a close and loving relationship, we are also taking the risk that at certain moments we might feel left, abandoned, hurt, taken advantage of, or mistreated. This can at times be terrifying because it is uncomfortable to take emotional risks with someone you care about and feel like it might not be reciprocated (or even worse, rejected).
Return for a moment to the haunted house….. you are scared and alone in the dark and finally decide, “humph, I don’t need him! I’ll get out of here on my own!” You stumble forward and then hear moaning on the ground. You turn on the flashlight on your phone and you see your husband lying curled up on the ground, a bloody scratch on his forehead. He moans, “I got him honey. I saved you.” You glance next to him and see another man lying unconscious next to your husband – he is holding a giant bloody machete in his hand! With your light you can easily see that the machete is a rubber fake, but everything comes together in a flash! He didn’t abandon you – he was protecting you! He wasn’t rejecting you, he loves you! You may have wished he communicated more clearly about what he was doing, but now you can understand what happened.
Caring deeply for someone, especially in a romantic relationship, is one of the scariest, but also bravest things we can do. I believe that many relationship conflicts are the result of those deep-seeded fears. The fear and worry comes out and we look to our boyfriends, girlfriends, wives, and husbands to reassure us, to tell us that everything is okay. If we can learn how to trust that it is okay to sometimes be scared in a relationship and stay brave enough to keep coming back to our partners even when things seem hard, this is one of the main things that can make our relationships great.
To talk more about relationship fears or the role that worry and fear play in your relationship contact us or schedule an appointment today.