When Stacy and Hank were married, their hopes were electrifying and contagious. They were bright, educated, and physically attractive. No one at the wedding had the slightest doubt whether these two would have a rich and fulfilling marriage.
In the beginning, it seemed as though the forecasts would be true, but as is always the case with Imitation Love, inequities developed. Hank didn't find Stacy as sexually exciting as she had been in the beginning, and Stacy didn't feel as emotionally safe or nurtured by Hank. These disappointments are very common in relationships, but they're also devastating. They both took their frustrations quite personally, as almost all couples do.
After the birth of their first child, Stacy essentially disappeared from the marriage. She devoted all her efforts toward the care of this child and the two more who followed. Many parents—especially mothers—fall for this seduction. Children are easier to control than adults—as well as being safer—so many mothers focus their efforts where the reward is greatest for the time and effort invested.
Hank naturally resented the withdrawal of Stacy's emotional, physical, and sexual presence, and he expressed that resentment on many occasions. Stacy felt attacked and withdrew even further, and so the cycle of misery steadily worsened.
When people get married, their expectations are very high that their partner will provide the happiness they've never found in any other way or place. When these enormous expectations are not realized, many people become very disappointed, angry, disillusioned, and even bitter. They feel betrayed and victimized.
Hank studied Real Love and realized that he had not been unconditionally loving toward Stacy. He shared this recognition with her, and initially she was touched by his honesty and was relieved to finally understand what had happened in their marriage. But Stacy also expected that Hank would immediately make up for the past and become a perfectly accepting and nurturing partner.
Such an expectation is entirely unreasonable, but Stacy was driven by her neediness, not by reason. Hank's abilities to be loving lagged far behind his insights—as abilities always do—so once again Stacy felt betrayed and vigorously refused his invitations to participate in any Real Love efforts. Hank continued his attempts to be unconditionally loving, but Stacy was thoroughly jaded and only rejected him all the more.
Although they were both imperfect in their ability to love, Hank was really trying hard to be loving in his marriage, while Stacy's efforts were confined to being right, feeling victimized, and rejecting anything Hank tried. Eventually—after more than two years of Hank's working with Stacy—it became apparent that they were on entirely different courses in life, and they separated. Hank continued to work with wise men and women, eager to learn how he could be more loving to Stacy and his children. Stacy, on the other hand, went out of her way to spread exaggerated and even false stories of Hank's villainy, and it wasn't long before she had alienated his parents, siblings, children, other relatives, and friends from him.
As they were making final negotiations for permanent separation, child support, and division of property, Stacy said, "I can't believe this is happening." This is a typical attitude from victims. They deny all responsibility for their choices and the consequences of them, choosing instead to believe that people, things, and situations do things to them.
Hank certainly made plenty of mistakes, before and after learning about Real Love, but Stacy's choice to feel and act like a victim was fatal. She preferred being right to finding love and healing, and she came up with justifications for everything she did to destroy Hank in every possible way. With the simple choice of being a victim—which was pointed out to her on many occasions by wise men and women—she made her own happiness impossible and severely affected the happiness of a great many others.
Victims cannot learn, they can't grow, and they can't be happy. Never content with their own personal destruction, however, they are determined to spread their misery to every person in their sphere of influence. It's a horrifying way to live, and if we're not very careful to watch for this trait in ourselves, it can sneak up from behind and consume us.
Replace your victimhood with peace and happiness.
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