SITUATIONS AND LESSONS NO. 5
Bill is very jealous of Efi and does not want her to ever leave the house without him.
He is afraid that some man might approach her, and he cannot stand the idea of another man even looking at her. Although she has given him no concrete reason to fear, for some reason, he does not trust her. He feels intense fear, self-rejection and anger.
His sense of self-worth as a man is highly associated with his being only man whom Efi could possible care for. When asked why he fears this so much and gives so much attention to this possibility when he has never seen Efi flirting or paying attention to any other man, he cannot answer. He does not know why, but he totally loses control, intimidates and even threatens physical violence when Efi goes out of the house for a reason other than shopping.
Ironically, Bill’s eyes tend to follow attractive women whenever they pass. His mind is very focused on women. Perhaps this is because his mother gave him very little attention, or perhaps she never breast fed him, or she herself had a tendency to flirt, something which demeaned his father and made Bill feel ashamed. He may have, at that time, made a vow never to be demeaned like his father.
Efi, on the other hand, comes from a family that allowed very little freedom. She was free to go on her first date only after the age of eighteen. Now with Bill’s problem, she is experiencing the same restrictions and clashes she’d had with her parents. She is living a personal reoccurring nightmare.
At first she tried to avoid conflicts by not going out at all, but she nearly went crazy. She tried to plead and reason with Bill, but the subject was a source of great pain and anger for him and he inevitably ended up threatening her.
Efi is not interested in other men, but she cannot stand this suppression and distrust. She begins to go out ever more often and their conflicts have become more frequent and intense.
What can they do to get out of this vicious circle?
What do they need to learn to solve this problem?
Does he need to work on his childhood years and get free of that image of his mother flirting?
Does he need to let go of his self-doubt?
Is his lesson to feel his self-respect and self-worth as a man independent of what his wife does?
Does he need to learn to care more about Efi and her needs?
Does he need to learn to trust her more?
Does he need to communicate differently, expressing his needs and fears and not his anger and threats?
Perhaps he needs to become more self-sufficient.
Is her lesson to understand Bill and help him feel safe?
Is it to go out anyway and let him deal with his emotions?
Does she need to overcome her programming from her childhood years so she can feel her right to be independent and also free herself from fear of conflict?
Does she need to respect his needs more and feel her freedom while helping her loved one?
Does she need to respect her own needs more?
Does she need to find a different way of communicating with him?
Does she need to overcome guilt?
Both need to work on their childhood programming for which we would suggest our book The Psychology of Happiness and also our web site http://www.HolisticHarmony.com, and of course, personal work with a some type of counselor.
By Robert Elias Najemy