Restoring Connection in your Romantic Relationship

Uncategorized Dec 10, 2021

Restoring Connection in your Romantic Relationship

BY AMY HARPER, LMFT

"Once we resolve our childhood wounds, we can finally move on to live our most ideal lives and increase connection in our romantic relationship. "

As children we’re programmed to form connections with our caregivers, which brings a sense of bliss and solace. As we move through the developmental stages, anytime we find ourselves not getting what we feel we need, this peaceful nirvana is broken; creating pain and inferior emotions. We work to remedy this by bonding with best friends when we were children, developing crushes when we were adolescents, and bonding with the loves of our lives when we became older. When forming these powerful connections, we aim to resolve those painful moments from the past of not getting what we felt we needed from our caregivers. As we form these powerful relationships, the thought of getting our past needs met creates a giddy excitement and we experience increased joy and happiness.
 
As we are in the state of bliss while we are with our romantic partners, our positive emotions feel intense and powerful. It is the highest of highs which stems from the experience of finding and experiencing that special connection of which we haven’t experienced since early childhood. However, at some point, our partner declines meeting our needs in some way and the same inferior emotions of not getting your needs met in childhood resurface. The giddy happiness disappears and your spouse now seemingly becomes your enemy. 
 
When we are triggered by our spouses, the negative experiences and emotions we had from our childhood resurface and get projected onto our spouses. When this happens we begin to feel towards them the same way we felt towards the caregiver that was unable to meet our needs. Suddenly, the romantic bubble of bliss and solace popped– an influx of negative emotions manifest. During these moments we act from our childhood wounds, and begin to use the defense mechanisms developed to protect us in early childhood, and our spouses do the same. They come back to the defenses they have developed in their childhood as well. In these moments, both you and your spouse begin to live through the same negative experiences you had as children, recreating the narrative and striving for an alternative ending. For this reason we can become fiercely determined to control the situation and get our way. 
 
In moments where your spouse feels like your enemy, it’s important to remember that they can be your teacher as well. When we shift our perspective from being defensive towards the enemy, and transform it by bringing our defenses down to actually look at what wounds they are pointing out, we can make great progress in our healing. Our best teachers are our spouses because they are one of the only individuals that can pinpoint the unresolved work within us and help it to resurface.
 
As we shift the destructive and negative energy in our relationship to transformative and productive energy, we engage in deeper inner work which then makes us more present in our relationship. The material being pointed out by your spouse allows you to shed light on these wounds so they may be resolved. 
 
The role of your spouse is to reveal that which is unresolved within you, providing you with the opportunity to heal and evolve. Once we resolve our childhood wounds, we can finally move on to live our most ideal lives and increase connection in our romantic relationship.
 

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