I didn’t marry a jerk, so what happened?
Remember when you first got together? You were so excited to see one another, to spend time together. You could spend hours talking and getting to know one another. You felt understood and appreciated. Cherished.
Now you are afraid to let your guard down, to be honest and emotionally vulnerable. You don’t trust they won’t verbally attack you or dismiss what you are saying and feeling as unimportant. Consequently, you are often feeling like you don’t matter to them.
Well you didn’t marry a jerk so what happened? After all, they know you so well and so intimately that they must be choosing to hurt you by acting the way they are. How did your loving caring partner turn into such an insensitive selfish jerk?
Chances are they didn’t change all that much. It’s not uncommon for couples to find themselves in this spot. A simple miscommunication or misunderstanding can put a couple on the wrong path. Repeating this misunderstanding over time results in it taking on a life of its own. You start thinking I really married a jerk. Eventually it can become a fact in your mind. As a result, discussions begin with you on guard because you know the jerk will show up sooner or later. Your partner, being treated like they are a jerk, responds with defensiveness, irritation or attacks. Low and behold! You were right! The jerk shows up. Now, we have a self fulfilling prophecy in place.
We can get you back on the right path. Communication skills training can help. Learning how to listen, really listen and understand what your partner is saying emotionally can go along way towards getting that loving caring partner back. Learning more effective ways to share your feelings, your wants and needs, can help keep you both on the right path.