We develop ways of stringing together events that are plausible and give them particular meaning. Sometimes we create overly bland pictures of our childhoods; other times we may over emphasize some points and ignore others.
Overall, the interpretation and emotional impact of your things remembered--just not things forgotten--are blunted. The truth is often hidden--right out in the open--camouflaged as something else.
People make a lot more sense and seem less crazy when their picture is accurately focused; until then the hazy image can be interpreted in ways that they prefer.
Poorly differentiated people hold onto the part of themselves that constructed the distorted self-portrait. They demand that their partner understand them, in part, because they don't really understand themselves. Their partner's refusal to see them they way they want to be seen is upsetting.
The problem isn't a failure to communicate: their spouse can't understand them the way the demand, because they view their own behavior and the details of their life differently than their partner does.
This discrepancy challenges their inaccurate picture of themselves--which they have difficulty maintaining to begin with.
You may thing the problem is that your partner "won't accept you the way you are," but consider what happens when you mean that he or she validate the distorted lens you use to look at yourself, your life, and your marriage.
The problem in many marriages is not that spouse won't validate each other, it's that, what get validated is an inaccurate self portrait.
Distortions and projections keep us from seeing our partners and ourselves. That is important to remember next time you feel like demanding that your partner, "understand" you the way you understand yourself.
When your effort to improve yourself or your marriage seem to be going no where--with or without a therapist's assistance, it often stem from using an inaccurate self-picture.
SchnarchOnce you have allowed an accurate picture to form, it's easier to hold onto yourself--although it still isn't easy, particularly at first.