“Love versus Fear” by Dorothy Lee Donahue
Q Dear Dorothy, my name is Anna and I have been listening to The LIFE CHANGES Show for a long time now. Your answers have helped me with family members in the past and I am trusting you can help me with one now.
My question is in regard to my husband Bob. We got married about two months before the lockdown and had been living together for over two years and had been extremely happy. However, we are now living with each other 24 hours a day since we have been forced to work from home.
Bob has become increasingly frustrated and angry and is constantly telling me what I need to do to change me. I love him with all of my heart and I know I could change some things and I am actually doing my best to do so. And yet, I am becoming overwhelmed with his need for perfectionism and with his anger directed at me.
How can I continue to love him and yet love myself more as you have suggested to us to do?
A My dear Anna, thank you for this timely question. I believe that this question is so important in today’s world.
I intuit that Bob is frustrated beyond his ability to express and that his frustration has nothing to do with you or your behavior. Being forced to be in another’s space 24 hours a day has had consequences for so many of us. The ability to go to work with others and to be able to share with others in person during the day is no longer possible for many of us.
We are used to being able to go to gatherings and sharing our lives with others. Even shopping, in the past, has been a fun experience for many of us and the day to day interaction with our coworkers in person helped us connect in ways that human beings need to connect. Being unable to do my workshops has been an unpleasant experience and Zoom just doesn’t provide me with the kind of connection that makes my heart expand.
All of this to say that I have a feeling that Bob is experiencing the pain of isolation which has become a way for too many of us. Even though he loves you deeply, you are the only person he is physically connected with and so you feel the brunt of his displeasure with the present circumstances. I do not believe that he is really angry with you and instead feel that he is feeling out of control and is angry with himself for being unable to change and stop this isolation insanity. Therefore, I urge you to choose response over reaction and remind him how much you love him and that together you must find a way through these difficult times. It may be helpful for you to get some counseling during these interesting times and there are many counselors available.
Some see clients in person and I highly recommend that you find someone who does this. And please remember that LOVE is always the answer. We have only two choices ever and these choices are Love or Fear. Anger is a part of FEAR so let us solve this issue with LOVE. I feel that you and Bob can easily get through this once you both understand what is really going on.
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