THREE Wrong assumptions about life, of which two are very important for passive aggressive relationships, are explained here:
1.- We believe that everyone has the same capacity for intimacy, so it is only a question of "bonding with each other," and love will be there...WRONG!
When one person’s model for relationships is a secure attachment, he or she needs closeness, and attention. If she meets another person having a model for relationships based on a strong need for independence and distance, a lot of unhappiness ensues. We need to find the “perfect partner,” part of that perfection being that he or she has intimacy needs similar to our own.
2.- Marriage is the be-all and end-all: Romantic stories often reach their close with marriage and the resulting “happily ever after.” We believe that within marriage we will find harmony and know or learn to how best to relate to one another. The common ideal concept is that when people are truly ready for closeness and secure intimacy, then they get married. This is actually a misconception, however. Even loving each other, both partners can misunderstand and frustrate each other immensely, because they only have available the behavior they have learned in their past attachments. And, spending together 25 years dedicated to fighting each other, doesn't promote the personal growth we all need to do!
3.- We humans are self-reliant, independent people: Western society tells us that we alone are responsible for the satisfaction of our emotional needs. “Only you can make yourself happy” mantra: You should not and cannot rely on others to support you emotionally.
Because of this, we tend to ignore signals alerting us to possible failure in a partnership. In a true partnership, both partners view it as their responsibility to ensure the other’s emotional well-being. Instead of realizing that someone with different intimacy needs and approaches will inherently not fit us, we make the connection anyway, telling ourselves it is up to us to meet our own needs, so the relationship will be fine. And then begins our lifelong fight to transform the other into the person we really need to have with us, basically a wrong and useless project!
Why are those core beliefs so powerful as to shape our whole life?
It is because they have established themselves as the neural patterns of our brain, and kept fixed in the brain by intense pockets of fear located in cellular memory. In short: when we grow up, our families provide essentially three kinds of situations that will shape our model of the world:
- Either caregiver is near, attentive and affectionate, in which case the child feels love, trust and security and develops a trusting, sociable and cooperative model of the world;
- Pr the caregiver is disconnected, emotionally distant and unstable, in which case the child experiences anxiety and distress and confirms a model of the world where one needs to fight to keep relationships alive because they are non trust-able and unstable;
- Or the child gives up hope of receiving love with an avoiding, rejecting and cold mother/caregiver and the model of the world the child develops is one about individual isolation, developing a survivalist attitude and having a constant lack of trust on others.
Are you with me here?
- What happened with my husband in his life to teach him to be cold and rejecting as a way of connecting?
- How in hell did he learn that model of relationships? Can he change?