I have found that my wife and I seem to fall in this cycle. One of us will get mad, upset, depressed, or just lonely and we immediately pull away. the other person sees this and pulls back as well. So while the one who is troubled really needs comfort, the other person does not know what is going on and so they immediately blame themselves. A huge divide seems to open up between us. We don’t talk, we don’t touch, we don’t do anything to help each other. In the past eventually one of us would slowly pull themselves out of the hole they are in and then the other person will come back into the light. We never really talked about it. It would then repeat itself a while later and each time we would go longer and longer between fixes. We would stay father and farther apart. This pushed the two of us farther and farther from each other. And while this cycle was maddening neither of us were able to stop it.
Fast forward to now. The cycle is still there only now it is different. When one of us gets upset, angry, depressed or lonely and begins to pull away the other begins to pull away also, but this only lasts for a very short period. It might only be a day or two, it might only be hours. This period used to last months. Now one of us recognizes it for what it is and we actively try and cut it off. We help each other, we talk, we comfort. We are working to be a better couple, a better example for our children.
The other day this cycle began. The funny thing about the cycle is you don’t always know what end you are on. We could both think the other person is the upset one, or the other person is angry at us. Well, I recognized us in this funk and I forced a conversation with my wife. We talked and she thought I was angry at her and I thought she was angry at me. In the end we felt so much better about the other person and we happier than we have been in a long time.
So does every relationship have a cycle like this, I think they do. It may not be the same thing, it may manifest in other ways but I think it is there. The couples that communicate the best and are able to share those yucky things called feelings will have a much easier time breaking the cycle. The reason the cycle continues is because the two of you refuse to recognize that there is a problem. You just pretend that everything is okay. That is the worst thing that can happen because it will not just go away. It just hides, gets bigger, gets worse and then pops back up making your relationship harder each time. So try and recognize the problem and talk about it. I used to read crap like this and scoff. I thought the person has no idea what they are talking about. My wife and I talk all the time, so this does not apply to me. The funny thing is we talked about everything that we could except what we needed to talk about.
We did not want to hurt the other person. We would try and put the other person first. They were the important one. The problem was that because we never talked about what we wanted, what we needed to be happy then it did not matter what the other person did for you. It would not work. So now we talk, we talk about ourselves, we talk about each other, we talk about how to make ourselves happy and how the other person can help because in reality that is what we wanted to begin with. We wanted to be part of why they were happy.