Often when someone feels wronged by their partner they demand "payment" for the pain they feel unjustly inflicted upon them. History proves they will argue until this well-established pattern completes itself, one way or another. At some point, unable to resolve who’s to blame for the pain, one or the other will either storm off to brood over the mistreatment, or decide that retreat is the better part of valor and make some kind of peace offering. Sad but true, in the long run, neither of these solutions makes any real difference. Their suffering passes into the night, but not the unseen reasons for it.
This situation sounds familiar, doesn't it? One event, a single word or critical glance triggers a negative reaction. Then and there we feel our partner has set him or herself against us, and a moment later, we respond in kind. The feeling of being disrespected or misjudged morphs into a certainty that we’ve been betrayed; pain, not love, becomes our common denominator.
At this point, both parties are sure there’s only one way out of this misery, and that’s to get the offending party to acknowledge his or her misstep. The only way things can ever be right again is for them to make the appropriate confession and concession. But, let’s be quite clear about the following:
These unconscious demands, and the unhappy results they create, do nothing to balance the account we keep with those we feel are responsible for our pain. Our own experience proves this true. Has any apology extracted from our partner ever changed the fact that there will come the inevitable demand for another one?
For our love to thrive, everything about this kind of pain-driven pattern must be shattered. Not one part of it can remain in place or else, like the root of an invasive weed left in the ground, the sorrow will surface somewhere else under a different name, and continue to darken the hearts of those involved.
Here are five simple examples of such futile actions, as well as the beginning of a way out of these old patterns we may be unconsciously reliving with our partner.