"No," I replied. "But from the beginning you are not standing firm in your commitment to your freedom. You give a lot at the beginning because you enjoy being with him, but, as we've discussed, you also give yourself up a lot at the beginning. You make love when you don't want to. You stay up later than you want to for fear of hurting him. Then, when you do start to tell the truth, he is surprised and hurt. Until you are willing to risk losing him from the beginning rather than lose yourself, you will continue to create relationships that limit your freedom. You end up believing that it is the relationship that limits you, but it is your own fears and beliefs that keep limiting you."
In my sessions with Marcus, he discovered that he had no idea how to stand up for himself in a relationship. As soon as a woman wanted something from him, he gave it to her. He just could not bring himself to say no. Then, of course, he ended up feeling trapped. Combating Fear in Your Relationship
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Marcus discovered that his fear of saying no to a woman came from two sources:
- He believed he was responsible for her feelings, and that he was bad and selfish if he did anything that upset her.
- He was afraid that if she felt hurt, she would get angry and reject him.
As a result of these two fears, Marcus continually gave himself up in relationships. However, giving himself up created such resentment toward his partner that he eventually didn't want to be with her anymore and left the relationship.
In order to have both our personal freedom and be in a committed relationship, we need to learn to take responsibility for our own feelings rather than the other person's feelings, and we need to be willing to lose the other person rather than lose ourselves. Commitment phobia heals when you become strong enough to be true to yourself, even in the face of another's anger or rejection. If you want to have a loving relationship, then you need to do the Inner Bonding work necessary to develop a strong adult self who can be a powerful advocate for your personal freedom.
To begin learning how to love and connect with yourself so that you can connect with your partner and others, take advantage of our free Inner Bonding eCourse, receive Free Help, and take our 12-Week eCourse, “The Intimate Relationship Toolbox” – the first two weeks are free!
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