Linda was shocked. She had no idea all this was going on with Mark. She thought she was the only one feeling so unloved in the relationship. At first she reacted exactly as Mark feared, with anger, hurt, and blame. But he told her the truth about this too - that he had been afraid to be truthful with her because of this reaction, and that if she wanted the truth, she need to be open to it rather than closed and angry. Finally Linda heard him and they were able to talk honestly for the first time in years. Linda was actually relieved at hearing the truth, once she got over the initial shock and they were able to talk. She agreed to counseling.
In counseling, Mark discovered that Linda also had been afraid to be honest with Mark, fearing that he would withdraw even more. She was just as afraid of his withdrawal as he was of her anger. They discovered that both of them had been protecting against their fears rather than being open to learning with each other. As they both devoted themselves to learning and practicing Inner Bonding and opened to learning with themselves and each other, the love gradually came back into their relationship.
More from YourTango: Lying as a Form of Control
People often believe that they are withholding their truth to spare their partner pain, but their real intent is to protect themselves from the response they fear. Protecting against pain - with anger, withdrawal, and blame - will always bring about the very pain we fear, while opening to learning and speaking our truth opens the door to love.
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.
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