I thought of you when I read this quote from “The Self-Centered Marriage: The Revolutionary ScreamFree Approach to Rebuilding Your “We” by Reclaiming Your “I”” by Hal Edward Runkel, Jenny Runkel – “
First of all, allowing ourselves to become flooded with relationship anxiety actually prevents us from any kind of productive interaction. Ever heard it said, “I was so angry, I couldn’t see straight?” Well there’s some physiological truth to that statement. In his book People Skills, Dr. Robert Bolton points out that emotional arousal actually makes us different people than who we are in moments of greater calmness. When we are angry or fearful, our adrenaline flows faster and our strength increases by about 20 percent. The blood supply to the problem-solving part of the brain is severely decreased because, under stress, a greater portion of blood is diverted to the body’s extremities. [Also, an increase in] adrenaline suppresses activity in areas at the front of the brain concerned with short-term memory, concentration, inhibition, and rational thought. This sequence of mental events allows a person to react quickly to [conflict], either to fight or to flee from it. But it also hinders the ability to handle rational problem solving. Whenever we give in to the natural anxieties of marriage (“Is it always going to be like this?”; “Does she even care about me anymore?”; “Is he cheating?”), we make it harder for our brains to function clearly. And when our brains stop working, we start to scream in one way or another. And you know what? In a cruel, but poetic twist, our screaming actually makes it easier for those original anxieties to become reality.
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