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Are You Under-Functioning in Your Marriage?

We all have been socially conditioned to be present for our loved ones; especially our partners for life. There is a reciprocal relationship of over-functioning and under-functioning in any pairing of individuals. This is quite evident in marriages for the most part, or with mother-child relationships as well.

There is nothing wrong with this reciprocal relationship that is inherent in human relationships.

When individuals become anxious in those relationships, we regress to our default mode of over-functioning or under-functioning to offset the anxiety that has begun to take over the relationship. In my previous blog post, I covered over-functioning. I will be demonstrating under-functioning in this one.

When we are in relationship with someone (i.e., marriage, family of origin, or work family), we can get into a pattern of always waiting for the "shoe to drop," our co-worker will eventually do the task, or we sit and wait for someone to take the lead with something.

Under-functioning can look like:

  • Waiting on your boss to tell you what to do even though you have thought out the best possible outcome.

  • Saying, "Babe, you didn't wake me up in time for me to leave for work. Now I will be late and get in trouble!"

  • Letting the passenger in your vehicle tell you, "No, don't turn there, instead take this road, it will be faster" and you turn and do as you're told without saying anything.

  • Going with the flow just to avoid an argument, or emotionally charged conversation.

  • Not saying how you feel as to not offend, or cause a reaction in the other person because you love them so much you do not want to hurt their feelings.

The under-functioning occurs in relationships subtly that it is out of our awareness most of the time.

"What can I do to stop under-functioning,"you might ask?

  1. Become aware of the processes that occur around you. Does it cause you distress, angst, anxiety, depression, resentment, or exhaustion when you do not express your own discomfort with a person or situation?

  2. What is it that you tend to do when engaged in under-functioning? Do you get into "they'll fit mode" or think, "I'll go with the flow to stop an argument."

  3. Change the pattern of what you tend to do. Instead of not reacting or avoid any emotionally charged conversation, take a step back, breathe, and calm yourself. Feel it in your body. Is your heart rate up? Breathing hard? Flushing? Trembling hands? Sweaty palms? These are indicators your alarm system is prepping you for the call to freeze or flee.

Let's find out if this is the case for you. Everyone's journey is different. Let's work together. Send me a message or an email.

Stay tuned for the next topic....Emotional Cutoff (physical too)...

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