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 – “
What’s the logical conclusion of the story? Why, of course, your husband is less attracted to you, he’s angry at you, and he’s now much more likely to seek out time at work, time with the new coworker. In your reactivity, you’ve just shown your husband the worst side of yourself, in hopes that doing so would somehow bring him back, closer to you. And that, of course, just backfires. He now doesn’t want to be closer to you, except maybe out of pity or resentment-filled obligation. Now, ironically, he wants to be closer to her. Your screaming made the outcome you feared that much more likely to occur. That’s the incredible power of emotional reactivity; that’s the incredible power of screaming. And that’s why calming yourself down is the most important step you can take to introduce positive change in your marriage. Whatever you take from this book, take this: Learning to stay calm, when everything in and around you compels you to scream, is the first and best step you can take to revolutionize your relationship. Staying calm will always end a reactive pattern and start something positive. Always. And that’s why Calming Down is the first step in the revolutionary formula you’re about to encounter in chapter 3. But it’s not just about calming down. It’s about learning to stay calm and connected at the same time. Some of us can easily stay calm by simply running away from the situation, avoiding any possible conflict that might arise. But that’s not being ScreamFree; such running away is just another form of screaming. Staying calm and connected means remaining in the conflict and authentically representing your position. Staying calm and connected means saying no to the screaming inside you and saying yes to calmly pursuing the honesty and intimacy you want most. And, most important, staying calm and connected requires you to stop focusing on your spouse and start focusing on yourself.
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