Overcoming The Fear of Rejection*
No one likes to be rejected, especially by someone we care deeply about and that their opinion of us sometimes exceeds our own. In the dynamic of the High Desire Partner (HDP) and Low Desire Partner (LDP) both partners feel rejected, but in different ways and for different reasons. This perpetual fear of rejection drives many couples’ dynamics and turns their alliance into an unhealthy one. Our sense of worth comes primarily from other people’s perception of us and the more important they are to us the more impact they have on us.
The LDP Controls The HDP Sense of Worth
Since the LDP controls sex in every way, shape and form, they tend to control how the HDP feels about themselves as well. Since most couples use other validated intimacy, it is hard for the HDP to feel good about themselves and have the perception that they are desirable, when they are constantly rejected. When someone’s been rejected multiple times for sex, it’s not uncommon to start thinking that there might be something wrong with them. When our sense of worth is based on what other people and most importantly our spouse thinks, then rejection is hard to deal with.
The doubt that the HDP feels about themselves makes them even less attractive. We’ve all heard before that confidence is what makes someone attractive. Well, the rule still applies in long term committed relationships. So the HDP that has their self worth based on their spouses perception of them, rather than their own tend to be undesirable, because they act the part. When you don’t feel confident; your way of being, of flirting and seducing demonstrates your lack thereof. HDP’s start to want sex, not because they really truly have sexual desire for their partner, but because they want the other person to tell them their desirable. If you look at this situation more closely, the HDP is asking his LDP spouse to find them desirable and attractive when they can’t even feel and see it for themselves. It’s a vicious cycle of undesirability
Getting Out of This Rut
This is where the hard work begins! In a relationship, where there probably isn’t any collaborative alliance, there is Normal Marital Sadism and you are faced with emotional gridlock, the first thing that tends to come to mind is to call it quits and leave the relationship. Thing is…you’ve put so much time and commitment in it that you don’t just want to throw it all away. Also, you are going to face the same issues eventually in your next relationship anyway.
It’s at this point that you need to work on your emotional balance, if you want to get through this. First, you need to start feeling and acting in a desirable way. Stop the blaming and confront yourself about your own short-comings and insecurities. Put some effort into the relationship and notice where you have been slacking off. Reinvent yourself, be spontaneous and adventurous at how you are going to be with your partner and yourself. Get a life of your own, go out, try new things and start building your confidence through experiences other than with your spouse (non-sexual ones). It’s important not to perceive this as taking a break or avoiding the issue. It’s a time of self-reflection where you build yourself and get to know who you truly are and who you want to be. Motivate and inspire yourself, it makes a person attractive and desirable. Lastly, stop taking things so personally! Some of it might be more about your partner than yourself. If it is about you then take a stand and become a better person, by seeing it as constructive criticism, even when it’s not said that way.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your self-esteem and sense of self-worth. You need to learn to tolerate pain, anxiety, fear and frustration to grow and become a mature adult in a healthy relationship.
Francois Renaud M.A.
* Inspired by the book Intimacy and Desire from David Schnarch
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