Marriage/relationships, a refresher course
I had the radio on for 5 min the other day (am) and the host said:
“I used to love her, but I’m just not in love anymore….”
I seriously thought about calling in…but that’s what’s great about this blog, I can direct that energy and understanding here so people that want to learn and want to free themselves, can.
Marriage and relationships are a funny mystery…if we understand part of their purpose then we can appreciate this place of “being married” much more!
Imagine, for a moment, that you have all these old emotional wounds from childhood– but they may be “dormant” — you have “sufficient” space between yourself and most others –where very few people activate these old wounds….
Enter—> a spouse and kids!
A spouse is like a mirror, he or she brings out whatever “deficiencies” or wounds you have. Remember, we “go back” to where we were hurt in childhood, we find someone familiar to push into that old role of our parents. (Notice the word “family” in familiar…Our spouses often reactivate our old family drama.)
What we find out though, through our anger and disappointment, is that we found someone who was wounded in the same way as us—who reacted to those wounds, in an opposite way than us. (I’ll explain/describe, below). That person is just as “disabled” as us, but they can empathize well because he does know the same pain.
Here’s the example:
Let’s say that both partners were neglected in childhood. One child may react by becoming a performer, outgoing, seeking attention to try to fill the neglect….the other child totally shuts down and became introverted– trying to deny his felt needs for love and closeness. Both people “magically” find eachother –(the shy person wants to be more outgoing and “confident”…the outgoing one is exhausted from performing and doesn’t want to feel so needy)…. they think the other will heal them…when, really, they have both just reacted an opposite way to the same pain. (What they each need is the solution not a reaction.)
Regardless of how that example sounds marriage is still a sacred union that can truly be the catalyst we needed in order to SEE what was broken and take responsibility to heal it. (It CAN be healed, it’s just that we are now adults, our parents and spouses cannot heal us…only we can, with the help of the Creator, who is LOVE, who gives this LOVE freely….we just don’t yet experience it…if we still think it’s our spouse’s job, or that we’re meant to just be empty, resentful, performing, or begging the rest of our lives…etc).
This is why though, we have that phenomenon where we experienced falling in love and once we find out that person does not have the solution, but their own reaction
—and we find out they are not healing us
— and our inadequacies are all the more apparent,
—and we engage in a “power struggle” trying to push the other person into reading our mind and loving us in all the ways our parents didn’t…
—and it’s still not working…
—then people complicate everything cause they think that diving into a new pool (affair or divorce) will solve everything, when really, they just needed to learn how to swim! (it’s a CS Lewis quote, in his book “The Four Loves” …we like the sensation of diving/”falling in love” so much but we never learn to swim…).
Even when we leave our spouse for the affair the broken patterns we have within us, do manifest in the new “affair” relationship anywhere between 2 hours and 2 years (Harville Hendrix’ book: Keeping the Love You Find is the best book I’ve found on this– except for he emphasizes that the other person can heal you, and they can’t, not in and of themselves, — but Hendrix has amazing insight as to how we are wounded in each stage of development and what it looks like as adults and that our partner does act as a mirror and shows us what needs healing…just look at the re-occurring arguments! They point to exactly what you are wanting.)
One more point before wrapping up this post, that I’m sure to mention lots more– is Shakespeare’s quote:
“Thou dost protest too loudly!”
Look to wherever the energy is–and you will see what old pain keeps getting re-activated and then you can begin to take the steps to SEE it, take responsibility for your own pain, and begin to heal it!
It’s the pie/pizza rule…. If your spouse or child does something that really only warrants addressing with 1/8th piece of the pie, but you are throwing the WHOLE thing at them…then that 7/8ths is your own unconscious “baggage” not theirs– and the more you over react with them, the less chance you have of actually addressing the 1/8th that needs to be addressed at some point–and a MUCH less chance of ever seeing your own stuff because you’re so lost in rage at theirs.
Jesus was showing us they way to heal when he directed us to take the log out of our own eye then we will be able to remove the speck out of our brothers.
There’s lots more…but this will help you be more loving and compassionate to that kind person we’ve been engaging in all this madness for so many years! I know, they’ve been doing it too…but you can heal what is missing, and learn to forgive “all debts owed to you” from the past– and it REALLY cuts down on resentment….