What Truth Are You Withholding From Your Partner? [EXPERT[

By

What Truth Are You Withholding From Your Partner? [EXPERT[
What are you sacrificing by not being fully yourself out of fear of anothers' reaction?

"He will be so angry if I tell him that."
"I'm afraid of losing her if I'm honest with her."

How often have you said to yourself, "I can't say that because he/she will get angry, shut down, get hurt, or leave"?

 

How do you feel when you are not open with your partner or others about your feelings, needs, wants and actions? I have noticed that when I don't speak my truth, I feel angry or depressed inside. My inner child really hates it if I allow fear to stop me from being fully myself. My anger or depression is my inner child's way of letting me know that I am abandoning her.

When your partner or others react to your truth with anger, withdrawal, hurt, and/or threats of leaving, they believe that their controlling behavior is working for them. Because you are either willing to lose yourself rather than lose them, or you are willing to lie or withhold the truth, they can continue to react with their controlling behavior without experiencing the consequences of their behavior on the relationship.

If you are afraid to be open with your partner, this system likely started early in your relationship. Think back to the first time your partner reacted with anger or withdrawal to something you said or did. See of you can remember what you thought at the time. The chances are that what you did NOT think is, "If this happens again, then this is not the right person for me." Since you are with your partner, it is likely that you thought something like, "I'd better be more careful about what I what I say," or "I can't let him or her know about this again." Your partner's anger or withdrawal, and you giving yourself up, began the system that may still be operating today.

Many of us learned to not tell our parents a lot of things to avoid their upset and resulting punishment. We learned to behave in ways that avoided disapproval, and we generally carry this pattern into our adult relationships.

The problem with this is it erodes the possibility of closeness in your relationships. The more you control by not being open, and the more your partner or others control with their reactive behavior, the more the walls build between you. I've worked with many people who didn't have the courage to tell the truth until they were ready to leave a relationship. When they finally spoke their truth, their partner or friend often reacted with, "I wish I had know this earlier in our relationship."

What are you not telling your partner or others? Are you not saying:

"I feel pulled on by you much of the time to fill up your emptiness and it's draining to me."

"Your anger, blame and judgment is so hurtful to me that I'm thinking of ending this relationship."

"I no longer feel a connection between us because we can't seem to talk about anything without getting into an argument. I want a relationship with someone who is open to learning with me."

This article was originally published at Inner Bonding . Reprinted with permission.
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Margaret Paul

Author

Margaret Paul, Ph.D. is a best-selling author of 8 books, relationship expert, and co-creator of the powerful Inner Bonding® process - featured on Oprah, and recommended by actress Lindsay Wagner and singer Alanis Morissette. Are you are ready to heal your pain and discover your joy? Take our FREE Inner Bonding course, and click here for a FREE CD/DVD relationship offer. Visit our website at innerbonding.com for more articles and help, as well as our Facebook Page. Phone and Skype sessions available. Join the thousands we have already helped and visit us now!

Location: Pacific Palisades, CA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Anxiety Issues, Couples/Marital Issues, Depression
Other Articles/News by Dr. Margaret Paul:

Relationships: The Power of Goodwill

By

Research into good marriages indicates that the most important choice healthy couples make is to have goodwill toward each other. This may seems like a simple requirement, yet many couples have anything but goodwill toward each other. Instead, they make it far more important to: • Attempt to control each other with criticism, judgments, blame, anger, ... Read more

“I Feel Overwhelmed”

By

I often hear from my clients that they feel overwhelmed. Generally, feeling overwhelmed means one of three things: • Overwhelmed by their feelings • Overwhelmed by time pressures • Overwhelmed by how to do things ‘right’ The feeling of overwhelm is generally caused by how we are treating ourselves and what we are telling ... Read more

How To Love Instead Of Reacting To Triggers In Relationships

By

All of us have "triggers" that set off our fear or anxiety and may lead to our reactivity—anger, defensiveness, withdrawal, compliance or resistance. We are especially triggered in our important love relationships. Take a moment right now to think about what, in your relationships, triggers you into your fear or anxiety. Are you ... Read more

See More

 
PARTNER POSTS