Pursuit & Distance

Reassure or Instill Fear?

Yesterday he was in Monster and argumentative; today he was crying today, not angry, and when I left he asked if I had a date. 
This is a common part of cycling in the beginning. Where is the balance between an MLCer needing reassurance of your presence and commitment and their fear that they will lose you? Should you reassure or seek to show your MLCer his jealousy? Though it varies with individuals and some are not clingy at all, MLCers need more reassurance at the fragile stages directly following Bomb Drop when cycling is often at its greatest.

Anger is often a method of avoiding fear and the related emotions and MLCers are using their anger to avoid their fears. These mixed messages are confusing as your own emotions and fears rise and fall with your MLCer's cycling. You not only lose trust in your MLCer but you begin to lose trust in your own judgment because you are unable to tell what is real--since yesterday your MLCer hated you and today she fears you will find someone else.

In the beginning MLCers often follow anger with clinginess because of the guilt they are feeling for spewing anger at you. Consider the different reactions and future outcomes you will achieve if you play with your MLCer's fears or reassure them. Playing with their fears may increase them which will only yield an increase in Monster as well as in their avoidance; they will run farther away and you will not receive the benefit of the reassurance of the clingy side of the cycle.

I am not saying that it is good or easy when your MLCer is clingy, merely that it sends a message that what they may have said or done in Monster was not an authentic example of who they are and what they want. In the beginning this message benefits you in that it provides you with reassurance which can show you where to direct your actions. Reassurance makes detaching easier, calling his bluffs easier, boundaries easier, and in general it makes being strong toward your MLCer considerably easier and can thus enable you to focus on your Self with fewer fears than many will experience. It is also not the easiest to deal with when it lasts through out the crisis as it can lead to cake-eating behavior with a Standing spouse and most MLCers will not display a high level of clinginess throughout the crisis. But most Standers wish for this level of knowledge and reassurance and for a relationship with their MLCer rather than a relationship with Monster.

Like most things, there is a balance and in the beginning the lean is toward providing greater reassurance. But most does not mean all, your MLCer may not follow Monster with clinginess, some will follow Monster with more Monster.

Standing is about looking for opportunities for tactics, not following every tactic that works for someone else. If there are other behaviors that seem to provide you with an opportunity to provide reassurance, test them and gauge the reactions. Understand that some things will show immediate responses or reactions that seem positive, but many will show anger reactions when they are working; so being strong in actions is also important.

Do you feel like a deer about two seconds after seeing the headlights?

You know you’ve gotta stop crying, panicking or asking your spouse ANYTHING. And you know you should let-go and give space so that you can learn to respond and communicate with your spouse from a place of calm rather than emotional hurt.

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