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I think I want to print out your articles and hand them out as a sort of relationship waiver form. “You want to be my friend?….You are interesting in going out? Here read this first. Sign here to acknowledge that you have read and understand the enclosed material. Thank you.” Seriously. I think it would work. — Guerin Moorman
Guerin Moorman
This is me. This is me from the day I was born. For so long I felt misunderstood and rejected, even by the people closest to me, because they could never understand my need for solitude, and I had no idea how to explain it to them. Even now that I know more about Introversion and have a more informed understanding of my hard-wired need for solitude, it’s still very difficult sometimes to help my loved ones understand this profound craving for time and space all to myself. This is one of the best…
Sharon

“I was struggling with my daughter (16 at the time) and our constant fighting. You said something to me that changed my life! You were speaking about your own situation and you said to me “my child could not handle my emotions”. This was a HUGE “lightbulb moment” for me and it forever changed the way I dealt with my emotions when I was around my daughter!

I am happy to say that things have never been better between my soon to be 18 year old daughter and myself! I honestly never thought we would…

Mom M
During one of the harder times in my life I found Brenda’s website
and reached out to her. To say the least it has been one of the best
decisions I have made. Being an extrovert I never quite understood
what it meant to romantically involved with an introvert. Brenda does
an incredible job listening, giving in the moment feedback, and helped
me understand the how an introvert functions. She helped explain to me
that I am introspective extrovert, and this gave something to identify
with and allowed me t…
Evan H.
Because of your blog, I know that it is possible for me to have the love that I want one day and that I don’t have to be alone.  — Indepthwoman  on space2live
Indepthwoman
I met Brenda and took the MBTI… I had a fairly good understanding of these types before the meeting but was impressed by the depth of knowledge that Brenda shared with me. She clearly has a passion for this work and a gift in imparting the information. There have been doors opened for me because of our talks… — Alan Hintermeister
Alan Hintermeister
For the first time in my life I could truly explain, through your words the way in which I experience life and myself. Brenda… It all fell into place. I had found myself and had such a moment of clarity. It felt like such a big weight was lifted off of my shoulders. Finally I felt like it was ok to be me. I was not the only one. I had found people and a little space where I fit in. … I was at work and crying on the inside. Emotions ran wild inside me. I was ecstatic, sad, confused, motivated, i…
Niko
Your words are my lifeline.  I sit down to your posts and as I read I can feel my acceptance of myself and my needs grow.  Your words validate my feelings about my life, motherhood, relationships and it is something I hold onto.  And during the times when I feel like I am not able to be a mother or a wife or a sister or a friend or whatever someone needs me to be, I go back to your words and find some peace…I send your posts to my husband when I need him to understand that I love him but I need …
D.R.
THANK YOU….. you just summed up my swirling thoughts into something i can read with out everything else in my head meshing with it. I finally feel like i can explain what happens within without getting distracted. I’m an Introvert with ADD and it makes it so hard to explain quite what im feeling sometimes. — M.G. on space2live
M.G.
Your site has saved my sanity and my life. Maybe even my marriage. I work part time and have two young boys at home, my husband is supportive of me but until recently I thought I was going crazy. … Reading your writing not only inspires me to pick up the pen again, but gives me nourishment in the deepest places. I will fight for balance. Everything you write is spot on… And wellness is so incredibly multifaceted.  I was ready to give up hope, but understanding myself through your words is bring…
J.K.

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The Biggest Wound of Relationships and How to Avoid It

man devastated

The wound that many couples never recover from occurs when one of the partners is in distress and the other does not respond or help them. Their partners are not there for them when they need them most.

This kind of aloneness, abandonment, rejection or neglect can lead to the wounded person saying to themselves (often subconsciously), Never again. Never again will I ask for help or try to connect, instead I will build a wall around myself and strive to live a life of self-reliance.

If you ask a person going through strife in their relationship to name a time that exemplifies their trouble, they will reply with a situation where they were down/stressed/hurt and their partner made them feel alone and uncared for. I wrote about a time with my ex-boyfriend when I felt particularly abandoned. I couldn’t find my ID when we were in line for security at the airport and he made me feel very small in front of my children. I ended up finding my ID in another purse but he said out loud in front of everyone, he would have left me at the airport if I hadn’t found it. That memory is seared into my mind and heart.

Not usually a one-time incident

This kind of wound isn’t usually a one-time incident, although if the distress or trauma is great enough and a partner does not comfort them, a one-time incident could cause major damage to the relationship and the person’s security.

Most often, the hurt is caused over time with consistent lack of attentiveness or responsiveness.

After the honeymoon phase when the love chemicals diminish and reality kicks in, many couples go on autopilot. This is where we assume we know our significant other and can predict their responses. We stop being as curious about them. We minimize our efforts to please them because we think we’ve already earned their approval. We don’t have to turn toward them or look them in the eyes as much because they should know we love them. We don’t have to show it every second.

This is where the breakdown begins. Each little choice to not be present or attentive feels like a mini-rejection to our nervous systems. We implicitly feel disconnected. Intellectually, we tell ourselves, He’s busy minding the kids or She’s got a deadline at work or He’s really tired, but our primitive brain does not care how great our intellect is or how rational we are. Our primitive nervous system feels pain.

How do we avoid or alleviate that pain?

It’s impossible to be there for someone 24 hours a day. Most of us understand that. Our goals are to not make a habit of minimal attentiveness and to be there when our partner’s version of a really big crisis occurs.

Stay present

Don’t go on autopilot. When you feel yourself reaching for your phone twenty times during your evening with your partner, take note. This does not feel good to your love and it truly does not do anything for your well-being either. Phones, work, social media, neighbors and even children do their best to distract us. The distractions create distance between you and your loved one.

Meditation and mindfulness practice help us work our presence muscles by teaching us how to get distracted and then gently return to what is important.

Staying present keeps us attuned to our loved one’s emotions and needs. It gives them the feeling of being ‘felt’. If someone listens attentively with their eyes, ears and heart, we feel our internal world is known and accepted. We let down our guard and become more receptive. couple with candles

We all have wandering minds. It’s not a crime. What we do to maintain focus and presence makes all the difference. If we do nothing, chances are someone we care for feels alone or empty even when we are in the same room.

Keep that trust bank account built up

It is much easier to forgive or not even notice when someone slips up, if the majority of the time (aim for 80%), we feel we can count on our significant other. Stephen Covey of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, calls it a bank account of trust. If there is a pile of withdrawal slips — incidents of missing important events, drinking too much, spending too much time on technology, never having any deep or intimate conversations, etc.— our partners are on high alert just waiting for another let down. This is pain that ultimately is not sustainable. It affects our relationships and our health.

On the other hand, if there are many instances of reassurance and reliability, our partners relax and have a much easier time of being responsive to us. Security and safety generate openness and energy.

Avoid the big wound

Our ancestors faced death or great discomfort when their community or family cut them off. Our nervous system still fears being alone and unprotected. There is nothing more comforting than knowing someone is there, especially when a crisis or unmet need from the past pops up.

Get to know what distresses your love the most. Watch for their signs of sadness, fear or stress — can’t sleep, doesn’t eat, talks a lot, cries, etc.

Learn what soothes them. The soothing methods are different for everyone. Some appreciate calming touch. Some prefer time alone. Others need to talk through it. Again, the methods are as unique as the individual.

The most important thing is to pay attention. Help your partner keep their guard down. Make sure they are not left saying, Never again. 

This may sound like a lot of work for someone with a more introverted nature. I guarantee time spent as a responsive partner, pays off tenfold in returned acts that fulfill our security needs.

Have you felt deeply let down? Have you been the reason for someone else’s big wound?

How have you coped? 

 

If you would like to discuss more ways to heal from wounds and create security in relationships please contact me for coaching. 

 

 

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