Fearing What You’re Accustomed to Creates Anger
“As I experience certain sensory input patterns my mental pathways become accustomed to them. The inputs eventually are anticipated and even missed when absent.” — Data, Star Trek: TNG
As in any relationship, we find ourselves anticipating certain events and behaviors from ourselves and from our spouse. When these normalities become interrupted, we see ourselves becoming fearful of the unknown. This fear tends to cause us to act out and become angry with our spouse or loved ones. We miss what we have become accustomed to.
Those feelings of love, acceptance, and safeness are called into question when we find out that our spouse or loved is dealing with a compulsion, even more so when we do not find out about it willingly. When our spouse does tell us readily though, we can be quick to forget how just how much willpower it took to finally “come clean.” There is no doubt that those feelings of betrayal will arise, and it may take us a while to begin to anticipate those feelings, emotions, and actions that we are so used to; but if the couple works on it together, those feelings will come back.
Loving Your Spouse Can Be a Daunting Task
In the above quote, Commander Will Riker goes on to tell Data that “[my] mental pathways have become accustomed to your sensory input pattern.”
When Data realizes what Will has become accustomed to Data’s friendship, Data responds with “I believe I Understand. I am fond of you as well, Commander.”
While in this instance those feelings and fondness are of a friendly nature, they can easily cross over into romantic relationships. Our fondness for our spouse and loved ones can be used to help us navigate the rough waters of our fear and negative emotions. We can use this fondness to empower us to remember what we found enduring about our partner and support them in returning back to that normality we have become accustomed to.
Loving our spouse and supporting them through a recovery process can be a daunting task. Yet, if we do not try and support them, we may find that we miss those absent inputs. We should not let our own fear stand between us and drawing closer to our spouse. We should take that fear, acknowledge that it is there, then look past it. Once we look past it; we should look towards compassion, hope, peace, comfort, and love.