Not telling the truth in a relationship is like not watering a plant – you are killing something that was once alive and growing.
The inevitable result of holding back the truth from someone you care for is that you end up holding back the love as well. You simply cannot suppress the negative feelings and expect the positive emotions to remain lively and you certainly can’t expect to grow in love if you can’t feel and express your feelings.
There are four warning signs in every relationship that signal that the emotional connection is weakening, and you are proceeding rapidly toward the loss of love in that relationship. These are the inevitable consequences of not telling the complete truth. We call them the ‘Four Rs’:
Resistance Resentment Rejection Repression.
Resistance occurs when you partner says something or they do something or forget to do something and it bugs you and brings up uncomfortable feelings. You might feel frustrated, disappointed because you expected something and they didn’t deliver, or maybe you made a mistake and you are worried about their reaction.
These are all feelings of resistance – feelings that come up that we don’t deal with, feel and release. We begin to feel separated from our partner just a little bit. It’s not big in the beginning, it’s just little, but most people pretend that these little resistances are not there – you may have thoughts like, ‘oh, no one’s perfect, don’t be so critical,’ or ‘why am I making such a big deal out of this? Just forget it, let it pass’ – like sweeping the dirt under the carpet, but as you keep sweeping and not dealing with it, after a while you’ll trip on the carpet. These little resistances build up and turn into a feeling of resentfulness.
Suddenly we get really upset about the little things that use to be no big deal.
Resentment is an intense dislike of the other person for what they are doing. You just start having these negative feelings about them, in the beginning you used to love them.
When we feel resentful, generally a part of us is feeling we are giving more than we are getting. We are feeling something unfair is happening, we are not getting what we deserve, it’s not right, it’s not OK and we think that the resentment is caused by their behaviour, but the real cause of the resentment is that we are not feeling loved, and the reason we are not feeling loved is we are not dealing with our own feelings.
When we can release our own feelings then we are open to receiving the love that is around us. But when we start suppressing those negative feelings because they will make things uncomfortable or we think they will make things worse, our ability to receive love diminishes. We begin to feel in the relationship – “I am doing all the giving and I am not getting what I deserve”. Resentment is generally accompanied by an internal experience of anger and tension – you separate from your partner emotionally. Anger and frustration, annoyance, sharpness or hate are all symptoms of resentment. If you don’t take the time to explore those feelings deep inside which are giving rise to the resentment, then over time the resentment increases and increases and increases and then it turns into rejection.
Rejection occurs when so much resistance and resentment builds up that it is impossible for you to stay emotionally connected to the other person.
To connect with them forces you to get in touch with all these built up feelings – so to avoid feeling these painful emotions we feel the need to push away our partner. A lot of this happens unconsciously – we are not even aware of it – rejection slips into the relationship and you will start finding yourself always at odds – you will polarise e.g. even over food, where to spend leisure time, vacation, suddenly can never agree on anything and begin to think that you are just not compatible yet when you go back to the beginning of the relationship you got along on all these issues. You used to be able to make little sacrifices to work things out, but now he wants something and she wants something differently. Another symptom of this stage is susceptibility to romance. This stage is the natural consequence of carrying around stored up resentment. Now feeling that you love your partner but you are no longer in love with them. Divorce usually happens in this stage. If you stay together, you will move into the fourth stage. If you don’t take the time to explore and release your feelings they will inevitably build up and continue to build up until – repression.
Repression is the most dangerous of the four stages – it occurs when you are so tired of resisting, resenting and rejecting that suddenly you successfully repress all your negative emotions to keep the peace.
Repression is a state of emotional numbness, which spills over into the rest of your life. You lose your enthusiasm and aliveness. The tricky thing about repression is that a couple in this stage may appear to be happy, and may even think that they are happy, because they are numb to all their unhappy feelings. This is trouble unless they take the time to explore what their real feelings are.
Some people are such experts at repressing their feelings that they move automatically from resistance down to repression in a few moments without even recognising what they are doing.
Every time you express the truth about your feelings and get back to the love inside, you are increasing your ability to love and feel connected to your partner to receive what they have to give and to give them what they need to receive.