THE DELAYED REACTION RESPONSE:
Just as love may bring up our past unresolved feelings, so does getting what you want!
After working along side numerous couples I have continually seen this phenomenon, when one partner is finally willing to make a change for the better the other would become suddenly indifferent and unappreciative.
To further explain this I will give an example of a recent case:
An attending couple first came to see me because they felt there marriage was over as their sex life was at end!
This pattern had continued for a period of years until they finally could cope no longer, it started with “Jeff” wanting sex with his partner “Jane” (I have changed names for obvious reasons), but she wasn’t in the mood… in his mind that was accepted because he loved her. The next day he hinted again, she was still not interested. This pattern continued every day.
By the end of two weeks he was beginning to feel resentful. But at that time he didn’t know how to communicate these feelings. Instead of talking about them, the frustration was covered with pretending every thing was okay. He was suffering these negative feelings and trying to be loving at the same time.
For two weeks at a time the resentment continued to build.
He did everything he knew possible to please her while inside resenting her rejection of him. At the end of the two weeks he went out and bought her a beautiful nightgown which he gave to her, and which she opened that evening. She opened the box and was happy and surprised. He asked her to try it on, but she wasn’t in the mood.
At this point he gave up and buried himself in work and forgot about the sex, he gave up his desire for sex and in his own mind that was okay but still suppressing the feelings of resentment.
Imagine his surprise when two weeks later he came home from work to his partner wearing the nightgown, low lights, soft music. All of a sudden he felt a surge of resentment. Inside he felt like saying “Now you suffer for four weeks” – all of the resentment that had been suppressed for the last four weeks suddenly came up.
Her willingness to give him what he wanted released his old resentments.
At which time his partner had come back to a place of loving and caring but was completely rejected by the resentment felt by him, so her resentment of his resentment continued with “I’m now not in the mood” and so it continued with numerous other examples in a similar pattern.
This is not about fault or blame, just misunderstanding of the other’s reaction, this happens not only in the example I have given but in all areas where there are “hidden” resentments.
Fortunately, they could see this pattern when we looked at it, as they continued to express and share these feelings with each other and understood how each other had felt neglected… their relationship grew stronger than ever!