It could well be said that all non-FIML relationships, or nearly all, are characterized by hierarchical rules/roles that are enforced by moods and violence.
Alcoholism is a type of relationship of this sort. Alcoholism can be seen as a caricature of all, or nearly all, non-FIML behavior. The enabler of the alcoholic is just as “guilty” as the alcoholic, and in a very deep sense neither of them is guilty of anything because neither of them knows of any other way to conduct a relationship.
If you find yourself feeling afraid of your partner or doing too much to accommodate them, your FIML practice needs work. Somewhere, somehow either you or both of you are letting small contretemps slip by without discussing them. This allows them to snowball and turn your relationship into one that caters to moods, moodiness, and ultimately control by moods.
If you find yourself feeling afraid of your partner, it is as much your fault—indeed, more your fault—than theirs. Why? Because you are not bringing up the small contretemps before they snowball.
Alcoholism, with its increasing cloudiness caused by booze, is “merely” a very obvious version of normal non-FIML dysisfunctionality. Much the same could be said about most/many “abusive” relationships, but more discussion is needed on that subject than can be done in a blog post.
AA recognizes in its twelve-step program that the “enabler” (the enabling partner) is as much a part of the problem as the alcohol-addict.
In like manner, in FIML, we can clearly and resolutely say that if you are enabling or feeling afraid of or accommodating your partner’s moodiness for pretty much any reason, you are just as much a part of the problem as them.
When is it OK to feel afraid of your partner? There are normal limits here that a reasonable person should be able to see. If you lie to your partner, cheat on them, do drugs behind their back, talk behind their back, etc. you ought to feel afraid of them because you are behaving badly and you know it. If you think that you have to do any of those things because that’s how the world is, you are participating in a classic non-FIML abusive or dysfunctional relationship.
FIML practice could be described as a technique for preventing the formation of relationships characterized by hierarchical rules or roles that are enforced by moods or violence.
Clear signs that you are in a dysfunctional non-FIML relationship are lying or feeling afraid of your partner. If you feel the need to lie or are being lied to and/or if you are afraid of your partner or they are afraid of you, you are in a very normal non-FIML relationship. It is as much your responsibility as theirs—no matter which role you are in—to correct the problem. FIML practice will correct it if you can get your partner to do it.