I get intrigued on so many counts by couples in distress. Whatever the reasons for their differences, so many times I have seen one partner fearing the other. I wonder, how can a relationship succeed or survive if one fears one’s partner or spouse? A big indicator of something terribly amiss – either within the person scared or the relationship. One cannot control one’s partner, who knowingly or unknowingly may be wielding the sword of control, but can certainly have a grip on one’s self.
First and foremost, one needs to find out the reasons for this fear. Is the partner dominating? If yes, why is that permitted? Dominance can be exercised from both ends. If not from one side, why from the other? At times, it is out of insecurities. Threatened relationship, inadequacies, lack of self-esteem and many more can feed such insecurities. Also, one may inherently be mild, in terms of dealing with people or situations due to childhood and growing up experiences. Circumstantial factors too contribute towards instilling fear. Whatever the reasons, no relationship is worth the fear.
What one allows, continues. One must develop the mental strength to cope with any eventualities in life. Marriage is a lifelong bond. Why live with constant fear?
The wife in a couple I was seeing was always unreasonable. She wanted to have her way and say in everything, no matter what. She was a ‘stay at home’ mom. Her husband a working professional always gave in to maintain peace. What started off as a peace maintaining mechanism snowballed into the husband becoming more and more subservient at home. He started fearing her about everything – her taunts, wearing a long face when he returned from work or he feared the worst – frustration being taken out on their daughter. Took him a long time to realize that he was putting up with things he didn’t agree with principally or otherwise. When the pot of tolerance starts brimming, it finally spills. One morning the wife threatened to leave. The husband very calmly asked her to go. The wife was shocked. She never expected such a response from him. Since it was just a threat, she didn’t leave. But since that day, she started curtailing her unreasonable behaviour.
Never fear your partner. But if you feel the fear is creeping in, do some plain talking about what would be acceptable and what won’t be – with yourself and your partner, right from the beginning. There should be no place for fear or it can cast a shadow of irreparable damage on your relationship. Scary?