I have learned so much from your wise perspectives, and now would love to hear what you think of this: My basically good guy sweetiepie has a pattern of temporarily acting rude, bossy and a little hard to get along with after he’s been especially confiding, sweet/extra romantic in word or deed, and especially after letting me see his vulnerabilties.This wears off in a few days, but when it happens it pushes my anger buttons in response, even though I think it’s coming from some kind of basic masculine need to back off and get some balance back. Because I know that any extra sweet romantic behavior or any big showing of vulnerability will be followed by this goofy ‘backlash’ I am getting so that a lot of the pleasure in the romance is lightened up, because I know what will follow.This behavior has lessened over time, and probably will lessen more, but any tips meanwhile?Thanks so much!
You are exactly right that your lover is using anger and biting comments in order to regain psychological space. What happens is that every time he becomes very close to you, his own inner fears take over. He is terrified of too much intimacy and/or dependency or both, and he pushes you away with biting remarks.Terror of closeness usually develops in early life and is the result of mothering that was either too smothering, claustrophic, controlling, inconsistent and abandoning.In the case of the smothering mother, a person becomes afraid to be taken over and swallowed up by a relationship. So, as an adult, closeness is viewed as dangerous to the self, and there are period pull-backs.Pull-backs also occurs if a person was abandoned as a child. That person is left with a deep need for closeness, but a terror of that closeness ( what if the love object pulls away and I’m abandoned again). As an adult, that person becomes terrified when he or she is too close, and must pull away before he or she gets rejected.There are many reasons why an adult may be afraid of prolonged intimacy, your question is what can you do about it.You can do two things. One, bring the pattern to his attention and ask him to explore the motivations of his behavior. You might say,’Have you ever noticed that after we have been really close, you say or do something to push me away?’ If he says he sees what you mean, then you can say, ‘So what do you think would happen if you sustained the connection and didn’t push me away. How would you feel?’Bringing the pattern to the light of day and talking about it is the first step in the healing process.Also, I recommend that you spark his awareness of the pattern before he actually goes into his song and dance. In other words, instead of waiting until he stings you, you would do well to head him off at the pass using a technique called’Predictive Operations.’ With this technique, you predict what he will do before he does it by saying,’Look out, we have been close the entire day, and judging by my watch, we have one hour before you will say something to send me running for the hills.’ A little humor is all right, so long as he doesn’t feel mocked.The Predictive Operation will help him to become aware of his thoughts and feelings before they are enacted in a destructive way (means words). And, the prediction protects you from being on the receiving end of a stray arrow. When you predict, you are in control.So, make the pattern conscious and use the Predictive Operations and he should be on the road to healing in no time.