We suggest you set aside some time for yourself when you read this article. Depending on where you are in life or where you have been previouslky it may touch you, also depending on how willing you are to take in the content.

We suggest you set aside some time for yourself when you read this article. Depending on where you are in life or where you have been previouslky it may touch you, also depending on how willing you are to take in the content.

Most people probably realize that telling the truth in a relationship is important. Yet it is easy for us over time in a relationship begin to tamper with the truth. We may not express exactly how we feel, for example at some point when we become annoyed with our partners.

We may withhold things and try to convince ourselves that it is the best for the sake of domestic peace. Maybe we are afraid of what reaction we may get from our partners if we say what we really think and feel.

The innocent entrance into the tunnel

It can start innocently as a small distortion of the truth or something small that I hold back. If we are not vigilant this white lie grows in strength and becomes a habit. It's like not watering a plant, it dies slowly. If I hold back the truth from someone I care about, then I gradually also to hold back my love.

This can lead us into the tunnel of the four warnings. If we do not heed the warnings and instead loose ourselves, the honesty and passion we may soon find ourselves at the far end of the tunnel where a life of numb feelings and perhaps separation awaits.

Where did the magic go?

Heading into the tunnel after a period in the relationship where the truth has not been fully expressed, we begin to wonder where the magic went, where did the passion in the relationship go?

The answer is that love and magic is buried under layers of non-expressed emotions. When you turn yourself off from negative emotions, you turn yourself off from positive emotions as well. All the feelings come from the same tap. Holding back your negative emotions also often takes a toll on your body and you start to feel pain at all kinds of places.

The four warning signs

Here we will explore the tunnel of the four warnings and see how we can experience each of the four warnings and what we can do to halt the journey into the tunnel. The four warnings are:

  • resistance,
  • resentment,
  • rejection and
  • repression.

They are deliberately in that sequence because that is the order in which they tend to show up. If you wish to avoid losing your pleasurable emotions and love in the relationship, and you want to keep the passion alive, you better learn to watch out for these four warning signs. So let's explore each of the warnings more in detail.

Resistance

In any normal relationship between two people, there will be some level of resistance between them. Resistance occurs when you start to resist something that your partner is, does or feels. You start critizing them with your inner voice and it is possible that you notice how you distance yourself somewhat from your partner.

One example is that you are at a party with your spouse, and she begins to tell the same story that she always tells at parties. A story you've heard many times before. This time you will notice that you begin to feel resistance against her and a feeling shows up that goes something like: "Oh no, here she goes with her story again."

Another example is that your husband reminds you to pay a bill and you notice how for a brief moment you shut yourself off towards him.

How most people deal with it

The way most people deal with resistance is that they ignore it and pretend it does not exist. This may include thoughts like: "It's no big deal" or "Do not be so critical, no one is perfect after all" or maybe "Just forget it, it is unnecessary to wake a sleeping bear".

If you are not telling the truth about your resistance to your partner and deal with it together, those little resistors are stacked on top of each other and lead further into the darkness of the tunnel towards the second warning sign, resentment.

It's like sweeping things under the rug, eventually a bump grows under the carpet so large that it becomes awkward to move around without trouble.

Resentment

This is a more active part of the tunnel than the resistance part. Here there is an intense disapproval and blaming regarding what your partner does. Your partner has now really begun to annoy you. You notice how little things make you angry, how you overreact to things that are not really all that important. Built up resistance begins to bubble inside in the form of resentment.

If we continue the example with your partner, who tells his or her story and you repeatedly fail to communicate your resistance to it, there will come a day when you no longer feel resistance to history, but now it raises a strong resentment in you. You might be thinking or feeling: "I hate it when she tells that story, she makes such a fool or herself."

Experiences of anger and tension

Together with resentment will usually also come the inner experiences of anger and tension. You start to emotionally distance yourself from your partner. Characteristics of this warning sign are feelings such as anger, frustration, irritation, sharp comments and hatred.

If you continue to sweep things under the rug and do not communicate your anger in a mature way to your partner, the speed at which you travel into the tunnel's darkness will increase, the passion becomes even more distant, along with the other pleasant emotions between the two of you and the third warning sign, rejection is now fast approaching.

Rejection

Rejection occurs when there has been built up so much resistance and resentment that it becomes impossible for you to maintain an emotional connection to your partner. You pull yourself away. You will be put off both emotionally and sexually.

You may say things like: "I do not want to talk about this any more." You may leave the room, rush out of your home, or you just close down and refuse to give your partner any attention or even pretend that they exist.

How to recognize rejection

You can recognize rejection for example when you do not want to be with your partner or that you always take the opposite view or approach compared to theirs. Another characteristic is the fantasies about other people or of being unfaithful and having an affair on the side.

Rejection is the natural consequence of carrying around accumulated resentment. You are incapable of being close to your partner or relate to her without experiencing all of your accumulated tension and resentment. You handle this by pushing them away from you to get a temporary relief.

Sex life deteriorates

Unless your sex life has deteriorated considerably already, it will definitely happen here. You may find that you still love your partner and feel love for him or her, but there is no longer any attraction. There is no longer any love. The thought of sex can seem repulsive or even disgusting. It may also be that your interest in sex with your partner simply is not there anymore.

If you live in the belief that divorces may be of help you will probably decide to end the relationship in this part of the tunnel. A relationship that ends when the parties are in this part of the tunnel, in the land of rejection, will almost certainly lead to a painful and bitter separation.

A monotonous life

If you do not share your feeelings at this stage either, which can be a challenge now that they have collected so much energy, you have soon swept so much under the rug that it no longer is possible to get into or out of the house.

Life becomes monotonous, without joy or zest for life. Most of all, it will make the step into the tunnel's darkest parts unavoidable, the part where the repression resides.

Repression

This warning sign is no longer just a warning sign, it is a state of emotional death. It is the most dangerous part of the tunnel. You end up here when you are so tired of fighting back, that to you successfully suppress all your negative feelings in order to maintain domestic peace, for the sake of the family or so that it will not look bad for in the eyes of people around you.

We stop caring

You have a feeling that "there is no point in trying anymore, let's forget the whole thing, I'm too tired to work on this." You stop caring.

The emotional death you enter in order to create some sort of convenience is fast spreading like an ice age to the rest of your life. You lose all forms of enthusiasm and lust for life. Life becomes predictable and boring. It is not painful, but not joyful either. Physical fatigue is now a faithful companion in your life.

Markus: I had a teacher of personal development, a man from Italy, who defined pathological diseases as frozen passion.

When we allow our passion to freeze, when the lust for life is no longer pulsating in our blood, then we invite all sorts of mental and physical ailments with an open door.

What is tricky with suppression is that when we look in from outside at a couple who find themselves in this part of the tunnel, it might look like they are happy. They are probably friendly and polite to each other and never or rarely argue. You might be led to believe that they have a wonderful relationship until the day you hear that they will get a divorce.

An problem-free illusion

Even worse is the couple who are so deep into repression that they do not think they have any problems. They have given up their energy-filled, romantic dreams and have accepted that life is one big status quo.

They have trained themselves to know what they can expect and what they can not expect. They have created a predictable bubble in which they have managed to convince themselves that they are happy. The problem for a couple living here is that as long as they do not admit that they want an improvement of the relationship, it will remain in the same emotional refrigerator and deadlock.

A quick tour through the tunnel

You have probably experienced the warning signs, the different parts of the tunnel, the times you have had a quarrel with your partner. For example through the following thoughts or expressions:

  1. Resistance: "I do not like when you tell me what to do"
  2. Resentment: "I hate it when you try to control me"
  3. Rejection "I will do what I want, I do not care about you"
  4. Suppression: "I guess I behaved pretty stupid, it's best I just forget the whole discussion"

The time it takes to travel the tunnel

A journey through the tunnel could take days, hours, minutes or even seconds. Every time you suppress an emotion, you go through these four stages or warning signs.

Some people have become so good at suppressing their feelings that they automatically go from resistance to repression in a few brief moments, without being aware of it.

Warning signs can show up in any relationship

The tunnel with the four warning signs occurs not only an intimate relationship with your lover and life partner, but also in other relationships such as with your parents, your children, your boss at work, your friends, and even in your relationship with yourself.

There is hope!

The truth is always within us, you carry it with you and it is always within reach. Although it may seem painful in the moment, the truth is most liberating force in existence in the universe.

Every time you express the truth in a genuine manner regarding your feelings and return to the love within you, each time it also strengthens your ability to love. It's like going to the gym and training your muscles.

Returning to the truth

We all end up in the tunnel now and then. As someone said, it's not about how many times you've fallen in life, it's about how many times you have gotten back up again.

Every time you stand back up and return to the truth you sow the seeds for you to become stronger and for your relationship be filled with much more love in the space created by the presence of the truth.

A tool to use

Excellent tools to use in the service of truth to express your feelings, can for example be feedback that we talk about in another part of the Relationship School. It allows to express your feelings in a grown-up way and create the circumstances that allows for your partner to receive it in the best possible way.

When you feel stuck in any part of the tunnel, it allows you to go back to being in love again. It is pure magic when it happens and often it happens in a heartbeat or a brief moment.

Is it not working?

It may be that once you express the whole truth and nothing but the truth, it seems that there is no progress made. It is common when you do that you move backwards through the tunnel and experience the warning signs in the opposite order.

For your own part, maybe you first come out of oppression and into the rejection and then move through resentment and resistance until you arrive at the opening of the tunnel and feel cleansed and free to love again.

Your partner's reaction

Similarly, your partner may react the same way. When you start to love him or her more, he or she may first react with not caring and may resist your loving efforts. It may happen that you awaken their critical side or their resentment. If you choose to be steadfast, to continue to express love and truth, they will eventually respond with great love and appreciation.

Filippa: I had difficulties expressing what I felt, but when I tried to do it anyway as best I could, the results were better than what I expected, but not straight away.

First various misunderstandings occured and because both felt hurt we both overreacted in different ways, but I did not give up and instead continued to honestly express what I wanted and felt.

Although it's tough and sometimes painful, it is still worth it, it's worse to feel emotionally dead inside than being rejected so do not give up! Your self esteem will grow as you dare as to stand up for who you are.

We would like to say a big thank you to www.relationships.blog-city.com for inspiration and input for this text on the four warning signs.

Homework Assignment

Think back to times in your relationship with your partner, a colleague at work or a friend, when you entered the tunnel and experienced the four warning signs.

What was the truth that you never expressed or waited with expressing that contributed to the journey into the darkness? What fears was it that made you hold back the truth? What can you learn from those experiences?

What are you willing to do or change in the future to be better at stopping the journey into the tunnel at an earlier stage or to dare to start the trip back out to the light if you get stuck in the darkness?


Couple with laptop studying relationships