As a kid, I didn’t have good role models to learn what was healthy in a love relationship. I didn’t observe any affection or compromise in a marriage. I did witness daily arguments, a lot of bantering about who was right, and daily rescue-control tactics to conform who was wrong. So by the time I reached dating age, I was ready to start my own search and rescue operation with men.
As Robin Norwood says so spot on, “How can we explain that it isn’t the person he is that we find so attractive, but the person we’re convinced we can help him become? How can we admit to ourselves or others that we’re in love with someone who doesn’t yet exist, and enchanted with our power to make him appear?”¹
The truth about love is we don’t love instinctively. We learn to love. What has become instinctual for men and women isn’t to love and respect each other. The far and few between male/female relationships throughout history that were based on love and mutual respect have not been enough to leave us footprints to follow on the relationship path. There are too little cases of love’s ideal union. There is an abundant history, including Adam and Eve, of conflicts, disappointment, criticism, blaming, rejection, resentment, betrayal, death sentences, and historical lines of broken hearts.
The past tells us that’s it’s not an initial impulse to demonstrate acceptance of one another, and that’s what we’ve learned, and learned well. It’s more intuitive for us to debate and fight in relationships, than to demonstrate love. When men disappoint us, our first urge isn’t to look at the situation through the eyes of love, understanding, and forgiveness. We don’t make compromise our first task. No, our first impulse is anger–to argue. We’re more comfortable clinging to self-righteous anger than we are around hugging or paying tribute to our partner. Either way, or even both ways, isn’t this screwed up?
What have been your dating experiences? C’mon say something!
Thanks for your time and replies. -In caring, Dr. Sandy
©All rights reserved, 2014, Dr. Sandy Nelson, E-Couch.net
¹Daily Meditations for Women Who Love Too Much, Robin Norwood