THE SOURCE OF YOUR ANXIETY IS YOU
We don’t handle discomfort the way we used to. That’s
one reason marriages fall apart so easily. Pain and anxiety
are part of life whether one is married or not. If you’re
married, stress seems to come from the person you’re with.
If you’re single, stress comes from not having anyone to be
with. In both cases you’re wrong about the source. The
stress comes from you.
It used to be that people just lived with discomfort.
Either that, or they found the cause and fixed it. Or
prayed over it. That’s not to say they understood the cause
of their pain. But they didn’t expect to just get rid of it.
Today we don’t tolerate much pain. We can get rid of it and
so we do. We don’t know why we should have to live with it.
Living in an intimate relationship brings pain because
it forces growth and growth is painful. What is growth?
Growth is finding out that we are not prepared to deal with a
situation, comfortably. We have to change, unlearn old
habits, learn new ones. Just when we thought we had all the
uncertainties covered, along comes a new one.
Marriage puts you in touch with your deficiencies and
sore spots in a way few other experiences can. When someone
lives so close to you and counts on you for so much, you can
bet that your sensitivities and intolerances will come to
light. It may seem that it’s your partner’s fault. But the
truth is that any partner would bring this out in you. It’s
the nature of intimacy. If it weren’t this burr under your
saddle it would be that bee under your bonnet.
You can escape the irritation if you must. You can
intimidate your partner into submission, or go dead and shut
them out. You can numb yourself with drugs, alcohol, work,
TV, sex, religion or your computer. If all else fails you
can just go crazy or leave.
If you’d rather stay married, happily, you will have to
face your pain without blaming your partner for it. It’s not
how well your partner treats you or how much you like each
other that determines how well you get along. It’s how you
tolerate your own anxiety when things aren’t going your way.
As usual, it’s all on you.