Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Apparently, I Can't Handle the Truth

This past Friday, Fairy G-dmother and I worked on my issues with being completely honest with John Dear (for more on the issues, see yesterday's post here).

We started off our session with a reading from a book of John Gray (of Mars & Venus fame). I found the reading extremely helpful and if the copyright powers that be will permit me, I'd like to quote some meaningful sections here.

From Feelings First by John Gray (1984):

The Essential Key to Love: Telling the Complete Truth

You must be able to share and express the complete truth about yourself and your feelings.

Telling the complete truth is different from being honest or not lying. Many times you tell the truth but leave out the important parts -- your feelings.

The Warning Signs

There are four warning signs in every relationship that signal when the emotional connection is weakening and you are proceeding rapidly towards the loss of love in that relationship.

1. Resistance
2. Resentment
3. Rejection
4. Repression

Resistance -- In any normal human relationship there will be certain levels of resistance between two people. Resistance occurs when you notice yourself starting to resist something another person is saying, doing, or feeling. You start criticizing them in your mind, and you may notice yourself pulling away a little bit. The way most people handle Resistance is to ignore it and pretend it's not there, e.g., "Oh, it's no big deal."

If you don't tell the truth about your resistance and resolve it with your partner, those little resistances build up and turn into the second R, Resentment.

Resentment is a much more active level of resistance. It is intense dislike and blame of the other person for what they are doing. Resentment is usually accompanied by an internal experience of anger and tension. You are separating from your partner emotionally. Anger, frustration, annoyance, sharpness and hate are all symptoms of stage two, Resentment.

If you don't tell the truth about your resentment and resolve it with your partner, it builds up and turns into the third R, Rejection.

Rejection occurs when so much resistance and resentment has built up that it becomes impossible for you to stay emotionally connected to the other person, and you pull away. You may leave the room, you might storm out of the house, or you might just shut down and refuse to acknowledge the other person or pay attention to them.

The signs of Rejection are: not wanting to be with your partner; always polarizing with whatever point of view they take; fantasizing about other people or having affairs. Rejection is the natural consequence of carrying around stored-up resentment. You cannot be near or relate to your partner without feeling all of your accumulated tension and resentment, so you just push them away in order to get some relief. During this stage, your [se.x] life will deteriorate tremendously if it hasn't already. If you end a relationship while it is in the Rejection stage, the breakup will be painful and bitter.

If you don't tell the truth about your feelings of Rejection and resolve them with your partner, your Rejection builds up and turns into the next level of separation, Repression.

Repression is the most dangerous of the four R's. It occurs when you are so tired of resisting, resenting and rejecting that you successfully repress all of your negative emotions to 'keep the peace' for the sake of the family or to look good to the world. Repression is a state of emotional numbness. You numb yourself to your feelings in order to be comfortable. The numbness spills over into the rest of your life. You lose your enthusiasm and aliveness. Life may become predictable and boring. You may feel physically tired much of the time.

Some people are such experts at repressing their feelings that they move automatically from Resistance right down to Repression in a few moments without even realizing what they are doing.

Every time you express the complete truth about your feelings and get back to the love inside, you are increasing your ability to love. Every time you
suppress the complete truth and automatically repress your feelings, your ability to love decreases.


Fertilized said...

i never actually thought about not telling the truth as meaning not sharing my feelings. Great info btw

Good luck to you both

Jill said...

wow... that really hit home. Thanks for posting!

awakeintheworld said...

This seems like such a difficult and important process. It is interesting that so often the things we do to keep ourselves safe often end up hurting ourselves later. Rest and peace.

Io said...

That's interesting. Where do you see yourself on there? And is JD on there too?

wereyoulookingforme said...

Wow - thanks for posting this! I am going to share it with my hubby as I can how we progress through some of these levels.

It is scary to think about how one thing leads to another and before you know it your relationship is in serious trouble. I hope you and JD can work through all of this - according to yesterday's post you are 85% in so you guys have a great chance.

theclam said...

That makes perfect sense to me. Thanks for sharing.


Kirsty said...

Thanks for stopping by today. I am enjoying your blog. You are funny! :)