I’ve been thinking about the topic of avoidance in relationships. As well as what I need to do to somehow make that issue go away for us. I don’t know how to get there but I continue to try. I’m open to addressing our issues. I prefer when we are communicating but my partner is less eager to be so emotionally exposed or vulnerable. He doesn’t like addressing uncomfortable things and it’s taking him a long time to inch his way toward dealing with things head on as opposed to wanting to focus only on forgetting about things that are troubling us with hopes it will go away in time. He wants to think about the future only.
Typically research seems to show that the more a couple avoids dealing with their problems , wants and needs, the more the relationship become wounded and crippled. Healing and progress are delayed though avoidance and it lowers the odds that they will suddenly be achievable at a later date. Simply put, time does not heal all wounds. GASP!! It’s true. You have to do the work. When delayed too long, the work only continues to get harder not easier.
You sometimes hear people say they don’t know what happened. They were happy once but then one day they wake up realizing that they no longer feel anything for the person they are with. Really? That didn’t happen overnight, and it can’t be pinned to one single event or one relationship trait. What it can be pinned to is a consistent failure to fight for and nurture their relationship each day! Not only when it’s good but also when it’s bad. You have to work for, sometimes fight for, the relationship you want to have. The choice to avoid rather than deal is in many ways a powerful statement about a relationship.
When problems are avoided or emotions go unresolved it causes deep internal conflict. It breeds negative emotions and heaps layer upon layer of “stuff” that solidifies into a kind of hardness in the heart and soul. Apathy is the end result and love does not thrive in a state of apathy.
I believe this, because on my roller coaster ride of emotions there’ve been times when the emotion that I found my cart parked on for the day, was dangerously close to just that. Apathy. I didn’t really feel anything. Yet, it wasn’t the same sense of numbness experienced when you shut down from pain or being overwhelmed or you’re exhausted. It was a sense of lethargy seasoned with defeat. The sense that I was just too damned sick of ramming up against the brick wall. It’s a sense of hopelessness that echoes with thoughts of “what does it matter? Why bother trying anymore?.” And while hopelessness in and of itself is not apathy, hopelessness soon breeds the indifference of apathy. It removes the will to exert any more energy or care any longer about the outcome.
It’s not hard to figure out that’s not an environment that love grows well in. That’s why I believe it’s healthier and more productive to walk head long into the things that trouble you and your relationship than to try to live in a state of denial or pretense. No matter how uncomfortable walking through that troubled fire might be.