2. Learn to control fear. The second solution is a longer-term solution. This is about doing enough inner work with inner bonding so that your fears of rejection, abandonment and engulfment gradually diminish. The more you learn to value yourself, rather than expect your partner to define your worth and lovability, the less fear you have of rejection. The more you learn to take loving care of your own feelings and needs, the less dependent you are upon your partner.
When your fear of rejection diminishes, so does your fear of engulfment. People give themselves up and allow themselves to be controlled and consumed by their partner as a way of avoiding rejection. When rejection is no longer so frightening, you will find that your fear of being controlled diminishes.
The less fear you have, the less you will be triggered into the stress response of fight or flight. The more secure you feel within, due to learning to value yourself and learning to take loving care of yourself, the less fear you will feel in the face of conflict. This is when you stop being so reactive and are able to remain open and caring in the face of conflict.
There is no point in continuing a conflict when one or both of you are coming from fear. Continuing a conflict when the fight or flight response is activated will only erode your relationship. Until you can stay open-hearted in a conflict, it is best to continue to follow through on the first solution — taking a time-out until you feel open-hearted.
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 home study eCourse, "The Intimate Relationship Toolbox" – the first two weeks are free! ! Discover SelfQuest®, a transformational self-healing/conflict resolution computer program. Phone or Skype sessions with Dr. Margaret Paul.