With authentic relationships, positive energy flows continually from one person to the other and back again. It’s rarely ever a perfect balance, rather like the ebb and flow of the tide. You give of yourself to fill the other person’s need for unconditional love, support and acceptance and they give of themselves to fill yours.
It’s going through times of trial that you realize who the people are that are there to lift you up and carry you when you are too weak to walk on your own. They fill up your emptiness with words and arms of love so you can survive another day.
It is through this lens that I watched the three couples in Married at First Sight this week.
At this point of Jephte and Shawniece’s marriage, their flow of energy is completely one-sided. Shawniece is giving to Jephte in the way that she needs to receive..with physical touch. She’s also trying to be open and honest in her communication and feelings. Jephte is so overwhelmed, his walls of steel are solidly in place. As a result, he’s blocking Shawniece’s positive energy and giving her absolutely nothing in return. We can clearly see this is sucking the life out of her in a very gut-wrenching and painful way.
I think most of us have been in relationships where we have given everything we had and received little to nothing back. It left us feeling like it’s our fault…like we are unworthy. If we tried harder…we did more…we gave more. But the truth is, there isn’t anything we can do to make people care about us in the same way we care for them.
It’s a choice. With every interaction, people can choose whether to respond/or not respond, in a way that allows the other person to feel like they matter or feel like they are marginalized.
Will Jephte be able to bring down his walls and let Shawniece in? Can he give her what she needs to feel like she matters?
|Photo credit: Kinetic Content|
This has been the first rough patch we’ve seen for Ryan and Jackie. Often in life, it’s easier to sweep the past underneath the rug when it’s too painful to deal with it. The problem is, brushing it under the rug…or packing it away in boxes…only means it will continue to resurface. Also, we may think we’ve worked through something, only to have it come up again when we least expect it.
The question is, is a major trauma ever really dealt with for good? My life experience (and my therapist) tells me the answer is no. Why is that? Because up to 70% of our daily thoughts focus on past messages. That means we are unconsciously focusing a lot of our time and energy on what was instead of what is. It takes a conscious effort to stop replaying those old messages and concentrate on what your reality is now.
Healing from past trauma is a lifelong journey. It’s hard work to stay in the present and not let the past to define you.
Will Jackie’s loss affect the present for her and Ryan?
|Photo credit: Kinetic Content|
Of the three couples this week, Jonathan and Molly seem to be on a pretty even keel, energy-wise. Jonathan knows that Molly needs trust in order to be physically intimate. He’s keeping things light and giving her time to build that trust.
Molly knows Jonathan needs physical intimacy to feel like they are moving forward in the relationship. She’s willing to connect with him in a way that is comfortable for her. Hand-holding, cuddling in bed or simply sitting close to one another are all ways they are building trust, so they can slowly ease into a physical relationship.
Will they be able to continue to work through their very different paces in order to keep the positive energy flowing between them?