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[personal profile] d_a_r_a
I couldn't help but think of the last Dave when reading this excerpt from Mars and Venus Starting Over:

STUCK IN ANGER AND RESENTMENT

Tom felt good about his divorce. He was relieved to get out and be free. When he was married, he had been completely frustrated. He felt that no matter what he did for his wife it was never enough. No matter what he said, it was the wrong thing. He explained, "She was just too demanding. There was no fun. A relationship should be fun."

After his divorce, he started having fun again. It was such a relief to play his music, follow his schedule, eat what he wanted, and see the movies he wanted to see. He began dating again, had lots of fun, but when a relationship got serious he would back off. To him, it seemed that every woman he met eventually became too demanding, just like his wife.

Although Tom was a positive guy and he wished his ex well, he was still angry when he talked about his partner. He resented that his efforts had not been appreciated. His way of coping with anger was simply to blame, move on, and make sure that he never got involved again with another demanding woman. Although he did not realize it, he was stuck in his anger, and it was affecting all of his relationships. At a certain point in each new relationship, he would begin to feel his anger, blame his partner, and move on.

Tom expected a mate to be light, cheerful, and always satisfied with him. He thought of himself as easygoing and wanted a partner who was the same. When a woman expressed a desire for more, he would react defensively. He would blame her for being too demanding. Tom had not realized that his expectations of a relationship were unrealistic. He could not see how he was the demanding one....

... In Tom's adult years, he couldn't tolerate sadness and disappointment from his partners, because these feelings were still unresolved within him. As long as he was not willing to feel his own sadness and grief, he could not tolerate disappointment in his relationships. He would react defensively with anger and blame.



From the way Dave K. talked about his ex-fiance I should have realized...I think there's a good chance he never truly dealt with the emotions that his parents' divorce brought up but repressed those too. A lot of men find it much easier to be angry and avoid the other 3 healing emotions of sadness, fear, and regret because they're socialized that way. Dr. Gray continually stresses the importance of allowing yourself to feel all 4 healing emotions and not get stuck in just one of them. You can't truly heal and move on if you don't allow yourself to feel all of those emotions.

Date: 2005-07-28 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] facetiae.livejournal.com
yep, I can totally dig that. it took forever for David to even begin working through his mom's death, and all the issues of anger and guilt associated with her in general. it's hard for people to acknowledge negative emotions, and even harder for men to express them. I don't think our society really gives us early training on how to express emotions usefully and therapeutically. of course, women have their close emotional ties to other women, and share each other's pains and joys. guys aren't allowed or encouraged to do that, though. it's a sad thing, really. that's definitely why I advocate being honest with one's self about what one feels. in a certain situation with David and I a few years back, I think things wouldn't have progressed to so negative a point if I had just been honest with myself [and him] and admitted what I was feeling, and then allowed myself to feel it instead of repressing it. it was a tough lesson for both of us.

Date: 2005-07-29 12:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] d-a-r-a.livejournal.com
It's been a tough lesson for me too, but at least I'm learning it...and at least you learned it too, a lot of people never do.

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