How You Can Keep Each Other Safe and Secure.
Who among us does not want to be loved? Humans have aspired to be able to be ourselves exactly as we are, to be appreciated, cared for, and protected since the dawn of recorded history. We are social creatures. We are reliant on others. Other personnel are required.
Some of us have parents, siblings, cousins, or other family members who can provide us with some relief. Some of us seek help from friends or coworkers. Some of us resort to drugs and alcohol, as well as other substances and activities, to feel alive, desired, fulfilled, relieved, or relaxed.
Some of us attend personal development seminars or even seek psychological help. Some of us turn to our jobs or pursue our interests. We seek our safe zone in one way or another, whether by wholesome, healthful means or less-than-savory methods.
One of the reasons people pair up is our need for a secure haven. Partners, whether in a love relationship or a long-term friendship, often fail to utilize one other as advocates and allies in the face of all opposing forces. They don’t understand the possibility of creating a safe haven for one another, a place where they may rest and feel welcomed, loved, protected, and cared for. This is something I see a lot in couples who come to see me for help. It is often the precise reason people seek expert assistance.
Priority is given to the relationship.
Jenny and Bradley were on the verge of calling it quits. Neither of them wanted to quit the relationship, but horrible things continued to happen, and each of them blamed the other. They had been dating since they were freshmen and were set to graduate from college.
Both of them wanted to marry and have a family.
Jenny’s family lived near the college on the East Coast. She had strong bonds with them, notably with her mother, with whom she communicated on a regular basis.
Bradley was born and raised on the West Coast, where his family resided. Due to the distance, he only made one trip every year, inviting Jenny each time. Despite the fact that she admired Bradley’s father, she frequently felt ignored on these visits.
Jenny was left to fend for herself against advances from other men and what she considered dull conversations with their dates because Bradley liked to attend parties and engage with his friends in a way that left Jenny to fend for herself against advances from other men and what she considered dull conversations with their dates. Bradley didn’t appear to notice Jenny’s dissatisfaction throughout the events, but he felt the sting of her enraged retreat afterward.
It went somewhat like this in their conversations:
“You do that all the time!” she exclaims. “You take me to these places and then abandon me there, as if I don’t exist.” I’m not sure why you bothered inviting me!”
Bradley’s retort is combative. “I’m weary of having this discussion with you. You’re making a fool of yourself. “I’m sorry, but I didn’t do anything wrong!”
Jenny cites Bradley’s buddy Tommy as an example of someone who has been improper with her. “You don’t even notice when he gets drunk and comes on to me.” You don’t make me feel safe at all.”
Bradley’s answer is contemptuous once more. “He’s simply having a good time.”
Jenny would pout and Bradley would feel punished at the conclusion of these chats. When the scenario was reversed, things didn’t get much better.
Jenny went to see her family on a regular basis, and she anticipated Bradley to accompany her. He lamented that she had vanished with her mother and sisters, leaving him to “hang” with her father, with whom he had nothing in common. In many respects, the couple’s chats about this while they were alone sounded identical to the prior one:
Bradley grumbles, “I can’t bear coming here.”
“Why?” Jenny seemed to be taken aback.
“You keep putting me in the company of your father.” I’m a worm because he believes I’m not good enough for you, and you behave as though you agree with him at dinner!” Bradley’s voice becomes agitated.
Jenny responds, “Shhh.” “Don’t scream.”
Bradley comes to a halt, his lips pursed and his head down. “I don’t understand it,” he replies, his voice dropped.
“What did you get?”
“I’m not sure why you invited me. He doesn’t raise his head to look at her and just adds, “I just feel horrible here.”
Jenny softens and makes a nice gesture toward him. “You are loved by my family,” she adds. “Mom and my sisters tell me that all the time. Dad loves you as well; he’s just…that way.”
Bradley’s face flashes into view, flushed and tear-streaked.
“That’s \sbaloney! “Why don’t I hear it from them if your family ‘loves me,'” he asks with finger quotes. Why don’t you sit with your father and let me hang out with your mother if your father is so loving?”
Jenny responds, “Now you’re being stupid,” as she walks out the door.
“Forget about it!”
“And you know what else?” says the narrator. Bradley keeps going in the hopes of getting her heard.
“You’re a much like your father.” You placed me in the middle of the room in front of everyone.”
Jenny walks out of the room and shuts the door behind her.
When we engage into a relationship, we want to be noticed and valued by our partner.
We may not know how to attain it, but we want it so much that it defines much of what we do and say to one another, just as Jenny and Bradley did. We want to know that our efforts are recognized and valued.
We want to know that our partner values our connection and that it will not be demoted to second or third place due to a competing person, task, or item.
This wasn’t always the case. We can be very disappointed if we compare today’s love relationships to those of the past. Couples seldom got together merely because they loved one other in the past.
Marriages were arranged for a variety of reasons, including political, religious, and economic considerations.
To offer security for their families, husbands and wives remained together.
Duty and responsibility, on the other hand, provided a male-favored social contract for both couples. The emotional cost of safety and security was high. No one complained, however, since no one anticipated anything otherwise.
Marriage for love is the norm in our current Western society. We expect to be carried away, to feel entire and complete, or to assume we’ve found our soul mate. And we anticipate our bond to become stronger as a result of this deep connection. Nothing seemed to be more crucial. However, if we as partners are unable to give each other with a gratifying degree of security, these sentiments and aspirations frequently come at a cost.
The reality is that even if a couple develops a strong bond, this is merely the beginning of their relationship.
What matters most in a couple’s lives after their courting, love affair, or infatuation period is what occurs after that. What matters is their capacity to always be there for one another.
Consider Greta and Bram, a thirty-year-old couple. Greta had a steady job as a school teacher when they married a year ago, so they leased an apartment in the city. Bram commuted to work at his family’s agricultural company, which was located in a neighboring rural town.
Greta was expected to attend a gala fundraising for her school every year. Bram, who favored dungarees over formal shirts, ties, and coats, was not dressed up for the occasion. He was also bashful and a little tongue-tied, particularly in social situations with people he didn’t know. Greta, on the other hand, was at ease with huge groups of people. Regardless of their disagreements, Bram braced himself for an evening with Greta at his side.
As they dressed, they had a chat that went somewhat like this:
“It’s not you, you know,” Bram adds, his expression troubled, as he tries for the third time to knot a good tie. “I simply don’t enjoy being among all these strangers.”
“I know,” Greta says, applying her eyeliner and looks straight ahead. “I admire your desire to attend regardless of the circumstances. We’ll go as soon as you say so. Okay?”
“All good,” Bram says as he ties his tie properly for the first time.
Greta goes to Bram after parking their vehicle and turns on the overhead light. “How do I look?” she says, her lips pursed.
Bram responds with a deep stare into her eyes, “Beautiful as always.”
She examines his gaze in reply, and a brief flurry of excitement passes between them. She whispers gently, “Let’s establish a plan.” “When we walk in, you’ll keep me on your arm, and I’ll undoubtedly encounter some familiar faces.” Please don’t abandon me. “Permit me to introduce you.”
“All right,” Bram says, a worried look on his face.
“What if I need to use the restroom?” he jokes.
“You may leave without me,” Greta says swiftly, “but I expect you to bring your gorgeous butt back to your lovely wife after that.”
They exchange a kiss and a grin. As they exit the automobile, Greta adds, “This work is essential, but not as important as you are to me.”
Jenny and Bradley and Greta and Bram, as you can see, have quite different approaches to dealing with issues as a pair.
It’s probably self-evident which relationship works better, feels better, and is worthy of being held up as an example. But let’s take a closer look at both couples to see if we can figure out why they work the way they do and how they got to be who they are.