April 8, 2020
Ask Deepak

Reaching an Impasse in a Relationship.


When your mind and heart are truly open abundance will flow to you effortlessly and easily.


I have been in a relationship for 22 years, the first 18 were fine, then slowly over the last few years things have changed.  My partner now seems very intolerant of what I do and what I say.
We are both  practitioners of Vipassana meditation, and my partner  meditates every morning and has done so for the past 35 years!. Our differences of opinion lately, have been very frequent and are now escalating into him becoming very loud and very vocal and angry, not a characteristic that I would ever have expected to see.  He comes across to all people as a passive, caring, loving, lovely man.  When we have a disagreement and I try later to talk to him about why this might be happening, I get told that it is in the past, and now everything is fine.  I understand this, but my emotions get very affected by the intensity, so it takes me awhile  to let go.  I am also told that I start 95% of any disagreements, and that I need to change.  If I suggest something about his behaviour, I get told “one finger pointing, three fingers pointing back”.  My partner always seems to have a quote or saying to cover everything.  I am feeling  guilt, I am feeling overwhelmed, I am feeling scared.  I am feeling my emotions strongly in my body, and am trying hard, I try to watch my sensations and not get caught up in them but at times I seem to be failing dismally. I know that I obviously contribute to the conflict, but feel that I will be giving in to his demands and kowtowing to all his demands if there is to be a change.  He says he needs to change as well, but he continues with the same intolerance, and is still loud and angry. When we argue he becomes very personal and belittling, I find this very hurtful, he sees that as a weakness, “getting caught up in my ego”. I am now thinking it may be better to walk away and let go of this relationship. Thank you for listening,


It sounds like you have tried the obvious approach of trying to talk with your partner about how his loudness and anger is affecting you emotionally, but it didn’t work because he interpreted it as criticism.

So if you want to the situation to change, it is up to you. Instead of making your wellbeing conditional upon his anger and behavior, change the way you interpret his behavior. This is not a capitulation to his demands, it is gaining mastery of your own feelings and reactions. Right now you are being controlled by your response to his anger. If you were able to see that his anger is not personally about you, but rather about the old repressed pain that is now erupting in his life, you could be okay with letting his process work itself out. This allows you to  keep a safe emotional distance. In the course of this, you can look at your own beliefs around anger, and what you see as unspiritual behavior, and what you think is acceptable and unacceptable behavior during emotional healing. Reflect on why you feel threatened by his loud speech. Not that your reaction is unusual in any way, but the particular reasons for you based on your own history will be very instructive and will help you grow from this situation instead of waiting for him to change.



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