When you meet up with the love of your life you feel as if you have known them forever. They feel familiar, easy to be with & comfortable.
If you are wanting to improve your relationship & understand your partner on a deeper level. read ‘Getting the love you want a guide for couples’ by Dr Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt.
They have developed a couples therapy program called “imago therapy” which is a Latin word meaning ‘image” . The core principle of their program is that we seek out the image of our perfect partner which is the collective personality traits of our caregivers in childhood.
We do so for a couple of reasons, one because its feels familiar and we are jolted with that initial spark of love.
And the second reason is that we are actively seeking on a subconscious level to heal our old childhood wounds -although we may not be aware of this pull coming from the depths of our subconscious mind. Harville Hendrix has poetically said:
it's like a moth attracted to the light, it only knows one thing and it's to head straight toward the light'
Your subconscious mind seeks out your childhood environment
When we fall in love, our subconscious mind is recreating the environment of the past so that we can heal old childhood wounds.
This is because they hold the very quality that is missing from our life when we were a child in our original family. We are attracted to this man or woman because we want them to fill the gap that is missing from our childhood.
It might be that we weren't close to our father - and therefore we marry a man who we want to be close to.
It might be that we missed a mother's deep love - and therefore we attract a woman who we want to love us dearly and without reservation including loving all our faults and foibles.
We fall for the types that will recreate our childhood experience: a woman who had an aloof & distant father might be attracted to a man who carries the same qualities and buries himself in work which may trigger her abandonment issues she felt in her childhood.
A client story
An example is Pierre is 1 of 4 siblings, his oldest sister had an intellectual disability and one of his brother’s had polio, his father worked extremely hard to provide for the family, whilst the mother juggled part-time work and looking after the children.
Unfortunately, the mother’s attention was mainly devoted to her daughter with the intellectual disability and her son with polio, Pierre was the youngest of the family and often felt that his needs weren’t meant.
Then enter adulthood and Pierre chooses his partner Rebecca. Like his mother, Rebecca was a single parent with two young children. She is slightly aloof and fiercely independent, she values time with family and friends, doesn’t like to be stuck at home. So whenever Rebecca engages in activities that she likes to do without Pierre, it triggers his childhood wound of abandonment. Pierre cries for that love and attention from his partner. frequently saying :
“You never home, you don’t want to be with me”
Recognise what is missing from your childhood...
You will stay together as long as you recognise what was missing from your childhood, allow yourself to heal that particular aspect of your being. Only then can the bond between you continue to grow so that you can have an adult relationship, not one that just consists of satisfying deep and often unrecognised needs.
Unfortunately, many couples don't know about nor value this aspect of their partner and so conflict starts, sometimes leading to divorce. They recognise that the partner 'isn't what they thought he or she would be'
Bringing the subconscious thoughts, beliefs and emotions forward to heal
If they can create a safe space where they can discuss these issues that they have each brought forward from their childhood and allow that part to heal, then they can build a far deeper relationship and foundation for their marriage and continue to grow together.
This video below highlights the principles of Imago Therapy
I highly recommend you getting a copy of "Getting the love you want, a guide for couples" you won't be disappointed.