Successful new way: Gerald should do things for a new partner only if he feels like it and enjoys doing it, not because he expects something in return. That way he isn’t disappointed and his partner enjoys the interaction because it has no hidden strings attached.
Unsuccessful old way: Gerald would feel hurt, bad and unloved and brush it aside. He would make noises here and there hoping that Beatrice would ‘get it’, but she never did because it came across as unimportant. Gerald treated his little feelings as unimportant, so that’s what Beatrice did too. Until those thousands of little feelings built up into a massive one leading to his protest and declaration of divorce. That made Beatrice sit up and attend!
Successful new way: each time Gerald has a feeling of discomfort, of unfairness, of being brushed aside, of being ignored, including a sense that he isn’t worth being thought of and wooed, he needs to put words to it and speak it in the moment. He can’t expect it to be heard and acted upon if he himself pushes it away.
Unsuccessful old way: Gerald never told his wife how much he looked forward to sharing his day, his business trip experiences and his vision for what they would do when he got home. He waited for Beatrice to ask and show an interest. It never came. Gerald was hurt and felt unwanted.
Successful new way: Gerald should invite the intimacy he wants by communicating his need to share and include a future partner. That sets the tone and a rhythm of intimacy that becomes mutually looked forward to and enjoyed.
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.