When we’re in a relationship, we feel responsible for each other and take on each others pain. That’s empathy, right?
Their bad day becomes your bad day, their upset upsets you and so on. That’s what love is, right?
Or is it? The pattern I just described is actually what I call the “Dark Intimacy Addiction.”
Turns out there’s a MUCH more effective way to love each other, and I’m so glad I broke my addiction and learned it! With this simple MarsVenus approach, you can help your partner rediscover their happy — so you both feel good.
In this post (and video), I’m going to show you what that specific approach is for men and what it is for women so you can support each other and smile together no matter what life throws your way.
When something upsets my boyfriend or when anything upsets me, we feel responsible for each other. For example, if he gets upset about some incident, I feel guilty like it is somehow my fault when, in fact, I had nothing to do with it! It’s the same with him; if he sees me upset, he feels down. What do we do in this case? Is this normal?
I think it is totally normal! It’s natural for human beings — no matter what their gender — to suffer in the face of suffering. It’s hard to watch someone you love in pain and feel powerless to do something about it.
The Dark Intimacy Addiction and How to Break It
Just because it’s natural doesn’t mean it’s good for you, your partner, or your relationship. In fact, if you feel bad because he feels bad, and he feels bad because you feel bad…where does it stop?!
Your experience and definition of love are now all tied up in feeling BAD. For many couples, this becomes a bit of an intimacy addiction. They create drama in their lives in order to feel intimate with their partner.
You don’t want to perpetuate that dysfunctional dynamic. You want to release yourself from the cycle and the pain — which is exactly what you’re asking about.
In order to release the pain, we have to let go of the feeling of being powerless. Once you get clear on what you realistically can and cannot do, you don’t have to suffer along with your partner because, suddenly, you aren’t so powerless.
The truth is, no person can make another person happy. What we are capable of is helping our partners find happiness. I’ll show you how to do that in this blog. Keep reading!
3 Reasons Why Your Loving Instincts Are Screwing You out of a Happy Relationship
When you, Carrie, are unhappy, you find solace and comfort in talking about your feelings. After a good long kvetch, a woman almost always feels better!
So you naturally encourage him to do the same, because if he talks about it, he’ll feel better, right?
When a man is forced to talk about his upset feelings and complain, it actually has the opposite effect. It makes him wallow in his issues and preserve the bad feelings.
When YOU are unhappy, you want to surround yourself with people who will listen sympathetically. After all, that is the proper way to show someone love and support…on Venus. To a man, however, your concern translates to your distrust in him to take care of himself. Your lack of faith can lead to one of three things:
One: He will feel even more defeated.
Two: He will become defensive and possibly say something mean.
Three: He will lean into your nurturing concern and start behaving like a child rather than your boyfriend. This will lead to a complete change in the dynamics of your relationship, and your sex life will suffer.
These are three reasons why you might want to try a new strategy.
One Shocking Strategy a Woman Can Engage in to Help Her Man Find Happiness
Rather than make a man talk about his feelings (God forbid!) or look at him with sympathetic doe eyes, have a neutral attitude in the face of his suffering. On Venus, this is called “being an asshole.” Go ahead.
In fact, take it a step further and be even MORE of an asshole.
When a man is unhappy, the BEST thing you can do is do something to make yourself happy — and then tell him about it.
I know it goes against every instinct you have, but trust me, give it a go, and the results will speak for themselves.
If you go off shopping with your girlfriends or spend a day at the spa, you will come home radiating happiness. Tell him all about your day and how much fun you had.
You would think this would really rub salt in the wound since you’re parading your joy in front of his sorrow. But the crazy, cool thing is that a guy will take credit for that happiness! He will feel successful. He will look at you smiling and think, “I did that!”
Men are happiest when they have just successfully achieved a goal or task. Making the woman he loves happy is his biggest goal and achievement — which is why you being happy can help get him out of his funk.
It’s also why it’s especially hard on him when you’re having a bad day. He thinks it’s his failure, and it bums him out.
Two Ways a Man Can Successfully Help His Lady Find Happiness
As men will naturally take credit for their ladies’ happiness, they will also naturally feel responsible for their UN-happiness.
When you talk about your problems, he feels powerless to help you because you NEVER TAKE HIS ADVICE!
This can easily be fixed. Let him know that he can help you find your happiness by listening to you talk about how you feel. All he has to do is look at you and listen; he doesn’t need to solve the problem or even say a thing. To get step-by-step training (with scripts) on this process click HERE.
He can also help you find happiness by doing little things to show you how much he cares. He can get you flowers, make the bed, do the dishes, take you out for a nice walk and hold your hand, or plan a picnic.
The trick to making these moves really effective for getting a woman out of her funk is that he needs to do them without her having to ask for them.
So have your guy read this blog, and let him know that you really like the sound of it. He wants you to be happy, and once he knows that he has the power to help you, he will jump at the opportunity.
The Critical Difference Between Empathy and Taking on Each Other’s Pain
So many people fall into the pattern of feeling responsible for their partner’s happiness. You’re not alone.
When you love someone so much, the line between two individuals can get mushy, and you can easily blend into one person. But a relationship cannot prosper by the actions, passions, and feelings of just one person — it takes two to tango.
To move forward, acknowledge that HIS pain is not YOUR pain. You don’t need to prove your love by suffering alongside each other. Agree that you are not responsible for his feelings, and he is not responsible for yours. When you make this new agreement, it will free the both of you to love and support each other in a healthy way that promotes more happiness in the relationship — more often and more efficiently.
Let me be really clear here: I’m not saying take empathy out of your cognitive toolbox. That would make you a sociopath. But you can still have empathy for someone, understand where they’re coming from, and not take that pain on as your own. THIS is what couples need to learn in order to live “happily” ever after.