Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Disconnection (Why Women Talk And Men Walk: Part 2)

How We Break The Connection

'Things weren't always so bad for Marlene and Mark. At one time they cherished the closeness they felt - all their friends used to marvel at how close and connected they were. They can still vividly recall the good times, but instead of comforting them, these memories of the closeness they once had now fill them with sadness and a deep sense of loss. They often wonder how they got to this lonely state. Their story is all the more sad because it is so common.

Marlene and Mark arrived at their chronic state of disconnection without either of them doing anything wrong. Marlene has never grasped that Mark, like most men, has a heightened sensitivity to feeling shame and inadequacy.

How could she? His impulse when he feels shame is to hide, so he can't tell her about it. Instead, he disguises it with annoyance, impatience, or anger. She does not understand that each time she tries to make improvements in their relationship, the overriding message Mark hears is that he is not meeting her expectations - he's failing her - which sends him into pain of his own inadequacy. While trying to ward off feeling like a failure, Mark is no longer sensitive to Marlene's fear of being isolated and shut out.

In the beginning of their relationship, he sensed her need for connection and wouldn't have dreamed of shutting her out. But now he has no idea that each time he rejects her overtures or raises his voice in anger - purely to protect himself - he's pushing her further away and deeper into the pain of isolation.

It's so easy for couples to slip into this pattern, because the different vulnerabilities that so greatly influence the way men and women interact with each other are virtually invisible. In the beginning of the relationship, the falling-in-love chemicals our brains secrete make it easy to focus on each other's more subtle emotions. But once the effects of those chemicals wear off - we need to make a more conscious effort to protect each other's vulnerabilities. To do this, we first need to understand the different vulnerabilities of men and women and how we manage them in our relationships.'

Teks yang dikongsi ini diperolehi daripada buku 'Why Women Talk And Men Walk', halaman 18-19. Buku ini ditulis oleh Patricia Love dan Steven Stosny.

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