By Chandrama Anderson
Premarital and Coupes: "I Don't Want to Say This to My Partner . . ."Uploaded: Oct 25, 2019
I hear this phrase from clients on a regular basis. You don't want to say the hard things out loud. There are a number of reasons for this:
I can't not know it myself once I say it to him/her.
I am afraid of hurting him/her.
I feel like a bad person for feeling/thinking this.
I'm terrified of what might come next.
S/he might be angry at me.
S/he might say I'm wrong.
S/he might leave me.
I might leave.
I worry my partner will use it against me.
What will happen if I say it?
Will it open a can of worms that I'm not ready to deal with?
And your unique concern would be . . . ?
There are a few reasons why it is important to say the scary stuff:
- Oddly, this one comes from the business book Good to Great where the author talks about having and holding a clear vision of where you're going (in this case achieving secure attachment and resolving issues in your relationship) while also looking at and dealing with the brutal reality of what is.
- You're already thinking and/or feeling it; your partner knows on some level already. It's a painful relief to excavate it.
- It is like lancing an infection; the green stuff has to come out to prevent the infection from spreading and/or not healing.
- This is an aspect of looking at your Shadow Self, as Jung termed it. The parts of yourselves that you wish would go away, that you're not proud of, that you'll go to great lengths to hide, even from yourselves. You need to shine light in there, bring them out a little at a time and integrate them.
- Naming what's happening is one of the first steps in healing. It also works to change your neural pathways to healthier communication and integration.
I respect that you don't want to say certain things to your partner (or at times say too much: i.e., ragging, escalating, yelling). You have to examine why you would or would not share your thoughts and feelings with your partner. If you are doing it to gain understanding, that is different than saying something that is hurtful or poking at him or her.
My job is to create an environment that is "safe enough" for you to be able to share the scary thoughts with your partner, in the timing that is right for you. I will help you both deal with it, whatever it is. I will help you find a way to say what you need to say. I will help your partner to hear what that is. Then we'll go from there, together.