♥LOVE NOTE – Monday August 27, 2012
Relationships do not cause pain and unhappiness. …………The Agenda you bring from your childhood does!!…
And what this has to do with why you choose your partner?..
Hello dear Friends♥
“Relationships do not cause pain and unhappiness. They bring out the pain and unhappiness that is already in you.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
I am so excited to have found this quote. I think this is one of the most profound and succinctly put sayings I have come across on relationships for a long while.
And why is this?
Many theories of relationship include this idea. Let me share with you a perspective or a way of looking at relationships that will significantly influence the way you see the world and all your relationships. It is a synthesis of many theories.
Remember when you fell in ♡LOVE…it was like all your dreams had come true. Like you imagined it would last forever…
You thought you chose your ♡Beloved because they were soft, gentle, ♡LOVE-ing….. maybe strong, dependable, intelligent or playful, handsome, free-spirited, spontaneous, generous, spiritual, good-looking, had a great body, sexy, beautiful…You know all those gorgeous qualities you place at the head of your list if you are thinking about what to look for when you are searching for your ideal partner.
BUT the part of our brain that ‘sees’ and relates to all these wonderful qualities is unfortunately NOT the part of us that chooses our partners!
There is a hidden reason you picked your partner and a hidden agenda in ♡LOVE relationships.
1. Relationships have an unconscious purpose and that is to get the needs met that weren’t met as we were growing up.
2. Every living thing has embedded within it a ‘blueprint’ for what it will become as an adult. For humans this blueprint involves accomplishing certain developmental tasks at specific stages during childhood.
All children go through DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES. ATTACHMENT, EXPLORATION, IDENTITY, COMPETENCE are the first four. We focus on them as they are the most formative:
- The first Stage is ATTACHMENT where the primary job is for the baby to be attached and close and bonded to their parents. They will feel emotional security and safety which for them equals their needs being attended to and met.
- In EXPLORATION they start to move away and explore the world and learn it is OK to be separate knowing their parent is available and present when they come back.
- The IDENTITY STAGE is where the child ‘tries on’ all kinds of identities and ways of being and asserting who they uniquely are and the parent is supportive of their different choices.
- The COMPETENCE STAGE is where the focus is on learning how to do tasks and achieve things. Failing and being allowed to try again with the parent offering instructions and guidance and valuing achievement. The healthy outcome is a sense of personal power to achieve.
Everyone goes through these Stages.
- to be available
- attuned to the baby and their needs and
- to respond out of that tuning in
The primary need for the baby is to be close and attached and bonded to the parent. The parent needs to be reliably available and reliably warm and to respond to what the infant needs when they need it, regardless of whether it is convenient for them or not.
HEALTHY OUTCOME – emotional security for the child; “I am bonded, I feel secure, I am safe. There is always someone there when I reach out and need them.”
It helps to see parenting styles and the wounding for the child on a continuum.
On one side of the continuum is:
– the parent is inconsistently available and unpredictable, and they are consistently cold
– resulting wound for the child is rejection and feeling unwanted, unlovable and alone.
– the child usually ‘protects/defends‘ themselves by pulling in, detaching, holding back and avoiding.
On the other end:
– the parent is inconsistently available and inconsistently warm.
Sometimes they are present and sometimes they are not; sometimes cold, sometimes warm.
– the wound for the child is abandonment
– they usually ‘protect/defend‘ themselves by clinging; by ‘going after’ and hanging on tightly.
Intermittent reinforcement is the strongest there is. You get rewarded sometimes and sometimes you don’t. You chase after because you know that at some point you will get some of your needs met. This is where the wound of abandonment begins.
You have experienced connection and you want it back. And this is how ‘clingers’ are created.
3. Since most people have had ‘less-than-perfect’ childhoods and have been around ‘less-than-perfect’ care-givers they have needs that were not met as they went through the Stages. The associated developmental tasks were not completely accomplished either. This leads to what are called in popular psychology, “childhood wounds” or ‘baggage’.
Think of childhood “wounds” as needs that haven’t been met.
Their parents did not meet these needs for many reasons, which usually are not conscious and intentional. Most parents do the best they can given the learning they had. More often than not, we act the way we do because of how our parents treated and taught us.
4. Another part of the relationship “blueprint” we have inside us is:
– an image or
– a picture or
– a template of
the way someone who loves/cares for us will treat us,
and the way we will respond to them and treat them.
This image is made up of both the positive and the negative traits of those people who influenced us in the formative years. This is mainly up till about six to seven years old.
From earliest childhood, our brains are actually formed and wired according to what is repeated in the environment around us. Whatever is reoccurring over and over and modeled to us by the people around us, becomes our reality about who we are and what we can expect from people in the world.
This is backed up by scientific research on the brain which shows that the neural pathways that are at the basis of our behaviour are formed in relation to the people that are significant to us as we are growing up. Caretakers are most crucial in influencing and shaping the child’s developing self-image and world-image.
5. Whatever is fired (repeated) over and over gets wired.
Our brain then is in fact “hard-wired” to sabotage our significant relationships by ‘creating’ in our lives the very things that we grew up not wanting!!
Question for you: What were the models of behaviour and ♡LOVE and caring that you were exposed to and influenced by as you were growing up? It is important to be curious about and to explore and be aware of this in yourself and your partner/’the other’.
6. So the result is unknowingly, we are drawn to and select partners who are like our parents/primary care-givers.
Our partners will have both the positive and the negative characteristics of the people who raised us. The image or template inside us is the basis that we unconsciously chose from. Our unconscious has been programmed since we were born so that we are attracted to, and partner with someone who has a synthesis of the characteristics that were around us as were growing up which can feel like our ‘worst nightmare’!
7. So the consequence is our partners will be unskilled in helping us to get those important unmet needs met!
We bring that agenda to ALL our adult relationships.
8. And this unconscious agenda is why relationships can shift from the place of deepest ♡LOVE to total negativity and pain and unhappiness in the space of seconds. Your partner just “turned into” your father/brother/mother/uncle……../other significant people……And you swore you would never chose a husband or wife or partner like that!!!
And as well as their actions hurting and frustrating you and creating pain and unhappiness in the present, it reminds you of all the times you didn’t get your needs met and how hurt you felt when you were growing up, whether you remember the link or not.
There is also an element of betrayal in those times of conflict as in the early Romantic Stage when we are ‘blind’ to the negative characteristics we think we have finally found someone who is going to meet our needs and ♡LOVE us in the way we have always longed for.
The Nature of ♡Love
9. She says people have many misconceptions and myths about the nature of ♡LOVE and these lead to destructive conclusions.
All relationships go through normal and predictable STAGES and many people mistake the lows for the end of ♡LOVE.
Remember when you fell in ♡LOVE. This is called THE ROMANTIC /INFATUATION STAGE:
- it is when you first meet and are developing your relationship.
- it feels like all your dreams have come true.
- you imagine it will last forever.
- you are in a chemically-driven space where you only experience your partner’s positive qualities.
- it is the first and a crucial stage in the journey of creating Real ♡LOVE.
Yet this is not what ♡LOVE is really about.
This Stage doesn’t last and it isn’t meant to.
We then move into the next stage called THE POWER STRUGGLE. Arrrrgh!!
- the negative qualities you thought you had left behind are now showing up
- you feel like you are living in your worst nightmare
- your partner’s behaviour reminds you of the very things you wanted to get away from when you left home!
Is there one thing all people need to know?
10. People need to know what ♡LOVE is, and what ♡LOVE is not—that ♡LOVE is not sexual desire, not infatuation.
Learn how to ♡LOVE your partner in the way they want to be LOVED. That’s really the key.
11. Find out what your partner needs, what says, “I ♡LOVE you” to your partner,
and give it as A GIFT.
“It’s a misconception that love is a feeling and you either have it, or you don’t. The fact is that♡LOVE grows in response to getting your needs met” ~ ♡Pat Love
12. Your greatest growth and life changes and healing will come from
S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G into doing the very things that will make your partner feel most ♡LOVED and cared for.
Paradoxically, these are the very behaviours that will be the hardest for you to do!!
“This is a revolutionary view of relationships: rather than leaving it to find yourself, you find yourself through it – being the right partner is more important than picking the right partner.” ~ Dr. ♡Harville Hendrix.
13. The partner that most matches what you got in the past is the person who is most able to help you to heal the wounds of your past. Your marriage/relationship becomes the therapy—you become healed not by a counselor but by the relationship itself!
What touches our heart is someone:
– who is unskilled and thus unable to give us what we want,
– being willing to learn how, and
– to S-T-R-E-T-C-H into doing those things that are the hardest for them to do,
– and in doing so, give us what we never got.
This then re-creates or is a replica of the child-parent relationship where the child longed for the parent to change and be there for them and to meet their needs.
It might be listening, or talking or not talking, or spending time doing things together, or feeling, or touching, or cuddling, or laughing and playing, or speaking gently, or dancing, or valuing the way they do things, or going on holidays instead of always working, or giving you their undivided attention, or being on time, or making love, ………..or a million and one things.
What does your partner ask you to do that you continually reject?
This again, is your greatest growth edge and opportunity for you to grow into being more of who you truly are. Giving your partner what is hardest to give is healing for them as you are meeting their needs but it is also growthful for you as you have to S-T-R-E-T-C-H into doing new behaviours that weren’t OK for you to do as you were growing up. It will feel unfamiliar and uncomfortable. It won’t feel like “being you”.
And this process will be going on both ways. What do you need your partner to do that is important to you that they don’t do, or don’t do very well, and mostly will be continually ignoring and/or rejecting? It is often like they don’t even ‘see’ or understand or ‘get’ that we have these very needs.
Motivational and management specialist ♡Stephen Covey was asked at one of his seminars by a participant:
“What do you do when you don’t feel like you love your wife anymore?”
He answered: “Go home and love her…..”
And the guy said…”But I just told you I don’t love her anymore.”
He replied. “♡LOVE is a verb. It is something that you do.”
15. Unfortunately another piece of our emotional ‘character’ is – the very thing we most want and need our partners to S-T-R-E-T-C-H into doing or giving us, will be the hardest for us TO RECEIVE – and for them when it is turned around.
We DO NOT have the RECEPTORS for taking it in just because they learn to S-T-R-E-T-C-H into giving it to us. We have to grow and develop the capacity TO RECEIVE. This will take time as it will for ‘the other’ to learn how to do the actions that will meet our needs.
The more clear you can get about your history and ‘the baggage’ you bring with you the more connecting and intimate your relationships will become.
And by the way, this doesn’t just apply to your primary ♡LOVE relationships. This process applies to All your relationships – your parenting, siblings, your boss, mother in law.
These are important and crucial pieces to unravel in any relationship. I encourage everyone to attend Relationship Education and do some exploring with a Relationship Specialist who understands these dynamics who will help you to uncover and change your reactive patterns.
When you learn the Skills and ♡TOOLS you can act in this intentional and consciously ♡LOVE-ing way toward your partner. It is the greatest opportunity you have to uncover and process and heal the unresolved pain and hurt (unmet needs) from childhood for yourself, as well as for your partner. It will lead you to creating life-long ♡LOVE and relationship success with the partner you already have and for the singles, to attract ‘the partner of your dreams’ and manifesting your soul-mate…
You do deserve to have a husband/wife/life-partner that values you and your needs and gives you heaps of what matters to you. Don’t give up on finding and creating deep and meaningful relationships.
Happily Ever After does happen!
This is a great topic for a ♥MIRRORING PRACTICE. Share with someone what impacts you about this post. ♥MIRROR each other for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Phew! That is a lot to take in! Thanks for ‘hanging in there’! I hope I am making sense to you. I look forward to your comments and what this brings up for you.
Who is My Perfect Partner?
I have an EXERCISE that will throw some light on THE UNCONSCIOUS AGENDA you bring to your adult relationships. Please check it out HERE at the end of the article.
Happy exploring and uncovering and ♥LOVE-ing, Susie.