Fear of not being loved

Spring is coming… I can feel it

During our last therapy appointment Blue Eyes brought up me, my dad, and one of my nieces as examples of people who live honestly and openly without fear and how he wants to emulate our behavior. He wants to be like us. He talked about the things he loves about me and how upon meeting my parents and siblings, he further fell in love with me because he loved my big family and how everyone got along and had fun together. He loved my dad’s sense of humor, his obvious love for me, and his bigger than life personality.

Part of therapy was spent sitting face to face with Blue Eyes, repeating back what Blue Eyes said as best I could, and vice versa.

In response to Blue Eyes talking about how he fell in love with me and my family, I was able to repeat back to him what he had said. When I spoke to him, I started with how much I love him and how I fell in love with his intellect, his wit, his humor, and his kindness. I mentioned that it was quite a while before I met his family and that I did not fall in love with his family. His family is not very lovable, but that I love him. I talked about how much I hope he can be this open and honest and loving and giving person he wants to be.

The issue came when it was time for Blue Eyes to repeat back what I had said to him. He did not, in fact, mention at all about how much I loved him or the reasons I had stated that I fell in love with him. All he could repeat back was that I don’t think he is honest and how I wish he could be and that it makes him feel bad.

And this is the pattern. Everything makes Blue Eyes feel bad. Everything.

The therapist really wanted to move into training us on using the Imago method of communication for couples. I wanted to ask one more question, and she laughed. I always want to ask one more question. She let me. I had kept a couple instances in my mind specifically to bring up in therapy so we can better manage our lives and it was important that I got this out.

Last Saturday Blue Eyes was doing a number of tasks around the house and in his tea house. The Peacemaker had wanted to watch Parasite. We had talked about it all week, watching it as a family, but for numerous reasons hadn’t gotten around to it. It wasn’t always Blue Eyes trying to avoid it… a couple nights we had returned home from work too late to watch it. One night The Peacemaker was exhausted from his long shift on the set of a movie being filmed in Portland. Blue Eyes had said to us when we were discussing watching it later in the week that he wanted to read about it before watching it to make sure it wouldn’t be triggering. We understood but asked him not to tell us about it as we didn’t want to know what it was about or know any spoilers. Blue Eyes never did read about the movie.

Saturday The Peacemaker and I decided we would watch the movie that evening. We informed Blue Eyes of this fact earlier in the day. Blue Eyes was still out in his tea house at 8:30pm. I texted him letting him know we were going to watch Parasite and he was welcome to join us. My exact text was, “We’re going to start the movie at 8:50pm.” He immediately texted back saying, “ok” and a thumbs up sign. That gave him about 20 minutes to decide if he wanted to come watch with us and to finish what he was doing in his tea house. I didn’t really care one way or the other if Blue Eyes watched this movie. It’s just a movie. Blue Eyes has been clamoring for a while that we go to bed earlier. That he isn’t getting enough sleep, yada, yada, yada. Parasite is a 2+ hour movie. I then texted him “So I guess that means you’re not watching, since it’s 8:52pm.” I told The Peacemaker that we should just start it. He didn’t want to until we had confirmation that Blue Eyes definitely wasn’t going to watch. Another five minutes went by and so we started the movie. Since there are sub-titles, we really had to commit, and to pay attention. Blue Eyes showed up a few minutes later saying he hadn’t had a chance to look up the movie to see if it was triggering and maybe we should watch something else. This is very typical of Blue Eyes. He is late to absolutely everything and usually wants to control the situation. We said no. He seemed pissed off. We re-started the movie. The entire time the movie was playing Blue Eyes seemed anxious, on edge. I’m really not sure why he was so concerned about the movie, but he was.

After the movie was over we had a discussion about it. I mean it did win the Academy Award for Best Picture. I didn’t think it should have. By the time the movie ended Blue Eyes was just beside himself stressed out. The movie made him tense and it seemed quite obvious he hadn’t wanted to watch the movie in the first place. It’s not necessarily sex that triggers Blue Eyes and stresses him out. In this case it was tension, and a bit of death and gore, and a lot of lying and hiding.

So my question to him in therapy was, “Did you really want to watch that movie with us, and if you did, why were you so miserable. And if you didn’t, why did you?

He thought about it. I could tell he was struggling with answering truthfully. The therapist prompted him. She definitely does not want me prompting him, in therapy or out of therapy. So I sat and waited patiently for him to gather his thoughts. He hemmed and hawed and after some false starts and obvious manipulation of the truth he finally said, “no, I didn’t want to watch the movie. I didn’t want to leave my tea house.”

So the therapist asked the next question so I didn’t have to, “then why did you?” And his answer was what I wanted out on the table. He said, “because I felt like I had to or you guys would be mad at me.”

The therapist then asked Blue Eyes, “and if they are mad at you, what happens.” And he replied,

“If they are mad at me, I’m afraid they will stop loving me.”

To be continued…

23 thoughts on “Fear of not being loved

  1. Pingback: A Friday in February | try not to cry on my rainbow

  2. I hate these situations. If you asked once and then dropped it, BE might have taken issue with it. You tried to loop him in and he took issue with it. You can’t win either way. And by winning, I mean get a reasonable, peaceful resolution. Why? That childhood trauma creates a roadblock to honesty (the “if I’m honest they won’t love me” thinking). If BE had said, at any point, that he didn’t want to watch the movie, I’m sure you would have been fine and moved on. The inability to be that honest and forthright though is really what caused the problem (his lateness, stress, and misery which tainted your night). That cycle (childhood trauma = everyone is unsafe) has caused a ton of strife in our home. I’m so sorry that you are dealing with it as well. Our husbands need to view us as safe and trustworthy because if they don’t the fallout from that distrust just adds to our burden.

    Liked by 2 people

    • “That cycle (childhood trauma = everyone is unsafe) has caused a ton of strife in our home.” YEP YEP YEP

      When my husband is centered / grounded, he tells me he knows I am safe and not his family. When he’s not, of course, it’s my fault and I am not safe.

      As you both know, these are thoughts / rationalizations of very young people. I wonder how much inner-child work these recovery programs include? If that little hurt person isn’t addressed, then how can these guys have a foundation to build upon? I know. I know. It’s not a science yet, and not even in the DSM – but that’s a financial insurance company issue, b/c they don’t want to pay for SA, so they are keeping it out of the DSM, which keeps it out of insurance therapy billing.

      Liked by 2 people

      • My understanding is that there is little childhood trauma work done in most SA recovery programs. Handsome was told early in rehab that in addition to 12-step and his regular individual counseling, he should also add a therapist who specializes in trauma to enable him to adequately address his FOO issues. That’s a ton of therapeutic intervention, but they really keyed in on the trauma aspect as a priority as failure to adequately address those issues can taint everything else (as many of us have witnessed).

        Liked by 2 people

        • A *really good* SA / addiction / *whatever appropriate* therapist should be able to deal with both FOO and SA stuff. Yep – failure to address the fundamental trauma issues. Why can we partners see this so clearly (and this isn’t the 1st, 2nd or 3rd time I talked with other betrayed wives about it) and therapists treating this issue don’t get it? Gosh – they should talk to us to get feedback. Some of them are recovering SAs and they don’t even treat partners or couples, so they don’t see the big picture (and can’t hear, “My husband said, “_______.” which is a wound from when he was 5 or 7 or whatever.) I shouldn’t say all of the therapists – I’m sure there are some who get it. It’s just so frustrating.

          And it’s in my thoughts right now b/c my husband read one of Minwalla’s articles and discussed it with me – the impacts (13?) – and I shared how all of those impacted me, personally. It was good for us to share that.

          Liked by 1 person

          • For what it’s worth, as explained to me the FOO/ childhood trauma is often so much that it requires separate attention and focus. It’s not that a SA focused therapist can’t do it, but rather there is only so much time in a session. You could try to address it in a 50 minute session (along with the SA issues, whatever other diagnoses are present, relational issues since the last week, etc.), but it’s helpful to separate out the trauma piece to give it the attention it needs while not detracting from the other issues that need attention.

            Liked by 1 person

        • BE actually had extensive trauma/FOO therapy with Omar (and Andrew) for many hours before his 9-day back in June 2014. They got him in deep enough to acknowledge the wounds. It was a horrible time for BE. He had buried things so deep and rationalized for so long. Every therapist he has had since The Quack has been dealing specifically with those wounds. They’re just not as good as Trish, and BE holds onto stuff. Sometimes I think (like I know my borderline sister is) they are held back by fear. Fear of life without control over their secrets. This is a life long battle of learning to live in truth.

          Liked by 2 people

      • I find it interesting when people claim SA “isn’t real” because it’s not in the DSM. It’s like quoting the bible to rationalize bad behavior. People can rationalize anything. So true, insurance companies don’t want to pay for it.

        Liked by 1 person

    • So so true, blackacre. Some people, that aren’t married to addicts, or even if not an addict but people that harbor resentment and anger unjustly might not understand the nuances of this kind of behavior. I hate that I seem to be an expert at it. The good thing about being in a room with a really good therapist is they can bring out the root cause and hopefully get the addict to acknowledge it and that he needs to work on it. I just can’t accomplish that on my own. That’s frustrating, but reality. Really dealing with their issues just isn’t their natural instinct… hiding and lying and blame shifting is. It truly is a heavy burden we carry. Not trying to “fix” them, but just trying to live with some kind of balance and normalcy. ❤️

      Liked by 2 people

      • “That’s frustrating, but reality. Really dealing with their issues just isn’t their natural instinct… hiding and lying and blame shifting is. It truly is a heavy burden we carry. Not trying to “fix” them, but just trying to live with some kind of balance and normalcy.”


        Fear causes hiding, lying, blame-shifting (sense of control). Some therapists think we are truing to “fix” — and maybe some partners do try to do that — but I agree – I just want some peace, loving relationship (as much as he is capable), truth, an honest partner. At least in my case, my husband is showing up more and more. He’s been working through the Addo program (Dr. Kevin Skinner) and he’s in a group (virtual). My husband has shown more progress with this than books, trained therapist, etc. I know there isn’t “one program” or “one way” — I am just grateful that this program has gotten through to him. I listen to the partner’s videos / program sometimes and it’s helpful. It’s based on addiction, trauma, etc. Not wacky stuff.

        Liked by 1 person

          • It’s been so hard for both of us to find any type of path that is legit (b/c of our geography). I’m glad more virtual options are available for people (all over the world). Thank goodness for technology.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Yes, thank goodness. We are devoting the time and money to get to really good therapy. It won’t last forever, but it is worth every penny. We weren’t planning on another appointment until April. Hopefully things will have settled a bit by then. It’s crazy out there. ❤

              Liked by 1 person

              • It is crazy out there. Take good care. You are in excellent hands in CA w/ T.

                I wish she had the time to train other therapists. It seems like more and more therapists are trying to work on a video platform, which is really helpful, especially given what is going on now!


  3. I’ve heard really good things about Imago therapy for couples.

    His comment about mad / stop loving sounds like a part of BE that is very, very young. I’m sorry for those childhood wounds. My husband has them too. I have quite a few from my mother, and they still sting despite all the therapy I’ve done since I was 20. I know it’s HER stuff, not mine. I also know she was deeply wounded by her father and felt abandoned by her mother — this stuff passes on through generations unless addressed.


    Liked by 1 person

    • It sure does get passed on, beleeme. It astonishes me how people can continue to participate in hurtful behavior without dealing with it, or even acknowledging it, and also why some things affect people so differently. Why some people become addicts.

      We didn’t have a lot of time for the Imago therapy this time, but what we did do was good. I’ll write about it. 🤗🤗🤗

      Liked by 1 person

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