By moving close to another person, the impact of every risk or threat is reduced. In horror movies, the hero or heroine is always alone when the ghoul or monster first appears but finally triumphs over fear and fiend with the help of a buddy.
The reason that distress in a relationship so often plunges us into inner chaos is because our hearts and brains are set up to use our partners to help us find our balance in the midst of distress and fear. If they instead become a source of distress, then we are doubly bereft and vulnerable.
As one client tells his wife, "That you would do this to me, you of all people. The one I count on. I am so confused. If I cannot trust you, who can I trust? I thought you had my back; you were my safe place; but now it seems like you are the enemy, and there is no safe place." The other side of the coin is that loving connection is the natural antidote to fear and pain.
Learning to love and be loved is, in effect, about learning to tune in to our emotions so that we know what we need from a partner and expressing those desires openly, in a way that evokes sympathy and support from him or her. When this support helps us balance our emotions--staying in touch with but not being flooded by them--we can then tune in to and sensitively respond to our partner in return.
Once we are balanced, we can turn to the world and move in it with flexibility, open to learning and able to look at the choices available to us in any situation.
Nothing makes us stronger and happier than loving, stable long term bonds with others.
Love Sense - Sue Johnson