I worked with a couple recently. The man was very angry at his wife. The man wanted his wife to end a work situation that he resented. He resented this work situation very much and considered this to be the problem, the only problem in the marriage.
The marriage was suffering. The wife was unhappy. The husband was unhappy. He believed that if she left her work situation the marriage and their happiness level would improve. The wife however, LOVED her work and derived a lot of joy from it.
She felt empowered by it and carried a great sense of pride over what she had accomplished. These feelings were discounted by the husband as proof that he had been left. His anger prevented him from feeling anything except her not valuing him.
I was at a dinner party recently, sitting next to a lovely couple. The wife told me about her life and her love of her husband. She talked about how they enjoy travelling and some of the places they have visited. She also talked about how she was pretty sure they weren’t going to be able to travel anytime soon, because her husband just took a new job. The husband and I traded glances and he said to me, “Yeah, she keeps saying that. I guess we won’t be travelling this year.”
When I heard him say this about his wife, I could feel the wife’s suffering and I immediately felt my mind convert those words into another meaning for her. I was compelled to tell him privately what I felt she was really trying to say. I got him alone for a moment and asked him to repeat what his wife had been telling him about travelling. Again he said her words, “She says, I guess we won’t be travelling this year.” He mimicked her with a kind of whiney voice, but my insides knew what she was really trying to say to her husband.
When we find our special person and we feel connected to them in ways that seem magical, we begin to believe, in parts of our body, that this is what we have been looking for all our life. This feeling we have with our person is the real thing. We want it to last. We all want our relationships to go on and be this way forever.
All relationships begin this way. Then other things start to happen and people wonder where that beautiful, wonderful feeling went to. Couples still say they love each other, but sometimes they don’t feel loved by one another. Sometimes, people wonder if their partner—the one who loves them—really loves them.
Every one of us does something when we are angry. All of us have some kind of behavior that accompanies feelings of being wronged. It’s just how humans are wired.
I was thinking about this after reading a story about a married couple. They love each other. He is deaf and nearly blind. They communicate through sign language where the husband places his hands on the wife’s. That’s how they talk. It was a beautiful story. It told how they fell in love, through communicating with holding each others hands.
The story gave rich details about their lives. It even mentioned something everyone goes through, which some people did not expect. This couple gets mad at each other too. Only when the feelings are big, they still have to connect their hands in order to tell each other what is wrong…