Updated: Aug 2, 2022
The word compensation of emotional pain refers to a coping mechanism that is unconsciously and sometimes consciously, used by partners from wounds that they carry from childhood. Insecure partners usually have a perception that they are being mistreated, and an expectation that another person (usually the spouse, or child) is required to make them feel better about themselves, unconsciously expecting their partner to meet their "wounded needs". When those psychological emotional pains are not met, the insecure partner usually angers, sulks and becomes rebellious towards their spouse or others because they "feel" that they are being rejected, and project feelings of responsibility or guilt onto those around them for their wellbeing, subconsciously expecting their partners to be more of a parent than a partner.
A scenario of sorts, Penny feels inadequate, or inferior. Penny seeks compensation in her marriage for attachment wounds that she carries, even to a point that she feel justice has not been served and uses the marriage or partnership as "it's your fault this happened". The perceived situation of John being the perpetrator and Penny the victim, a recipe for a difficult set of circumstances to follow in a marriage.
John feels he fails continuously in trying to make Penny feel good, if he does not provide excessive attention, or overcompensation, there is a penalty to pay, however there is a caveat, some partners may be attracted to insecure partners often as seen to be "saving the broken wing", or in the business of "rescueing", however John is easy going and happy initially and unsuspecting, months and years pass with Penny, who is often jealous of others, overwhelming in needs, controlling and manipulative, John finally turns from a happy person into a discouraged individual with suppressed anger or anger towards others, and potential depression, not really ever understanding what to expect what he did wrong, or how to keep her happy, John feels like a failure, because he can never do anything right, and nothing is ever good enough for her. Unbeknown to Penny who carries wounds from the past and projects these in her marriage, a divorce is imminent, once the dust settles after the divorce, Penny seeks out her next partner that she can project her wounds onto, and John loses his confidence and never really understanding why.
Therapeutic interventions are helpful in cases where people cannot understand what is taking place or they are too close for introspection. It causes them misalignment and dis-ease in the marriage, wounds from attachment often play out in relationships and marriages, however relationships can be resurrected with correct therapeutic interventions if both partners are committed to change and re-aligning with new rules and boundaries.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for individual and couples counselling.