ASK ABDI: IS THERE ANYTHING MORE PAINFUL THAN LOVE?

QUESTION: So, is there anything more painful than love? I can’t bear the pain. How can two people who love each other so much hurt each other so badly?

ANSWER: It is not love that is painful, but vulnerability after a lifetime of self-protection stemming from early childhood wounding. Two people who “love each other” are unconsciously afraid of what love entails: opening up and being vulnerable, which is frightening to the unconscious. So the inflicting of cruelty, and the ensuing distancing that we have perfected, is how we push away true intimacy. Keep the focus on you: how are you contributing to this pattern? How can you pull your piece out of it and not contribute to the distancing? And how can you care for yourself so you don’t get triggered by your partner? As you know, these are not easy measures to put into effect, but certainly worth the effort. Step back, take a breath, and re-enter the relationship from a centered space, on a daily level. Feel your way back and do your best to remember why you are in this relationship.