Finding the balance in togetherness can be tough. You want connection but sometimes it just feels like too much – too much talking, too many questions, and too much closeness. You feel anxious when you’re required to spend too much time with your partner/spouse. It feels smothering. If this describes you, then unlike many people who fear abandonment, you fear being engulfed.
For you, the childhood wounds of not having had your needs met was just as painful as for anyone else. You may also have felt unacknowledged. However, this didn’t come about because you felt the void of your parents, but rather because you felt dominated. Not being able to be respected as separate from your parent, with your own voice, your own needs, your own expression, and your own choices, was stifling and hurtful. What you learned is that you didn’t matter and there was no room for you!
If left unhealed, this power imbalance can make it difficult for you to commit to your relationship. Whether your fear is extreme or mild, you’re much more apt to want to come and go, which leaves your partner, who wants constant reassurance, feeling triggered into their fear of being alone. You feel safer if you can create distance by being rigid or acting hostile. You covet your privacy to the point of secrecy, and too many questions can anger you. Too much affection or exuberance can embarrass or overwhelm you. You expect your partner to meet your needs, but giving and receiving for you can be stressful and reciprocating feels more like an obligation.
At the core, what you most fear is losing yourself. If you give an inch, you’ll be consumed – again! To heal this you have to be willing to be vulnerable and gradually give a little more of yourself. If you give of yourself freely, nothing can be taken from you without you exercising your choice. This may feel new and difficult but it’s what you’ve wanted all along.
So stretch yourself and talk a little longer, share more of your feelings honestly, stay present when there’s conflict, and soften more into each cuddle. It begins though with being vulnerable with yourself and feeling your own emotions. That’s how you reclaim the “you” that you feel you lost, and at last, feel power-full!
♥ ♥ ♥
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