How Our Childhood Plays Out in Our Partnerships

Have you ever heard your spouse complaining and feel as if you need to respond in kind with your frustration too? Too soon you’re in a massive argument wondering how di you go from 0-100.

Perhaps your mate works a great deal. They say it’s for your family but you feel lonely. You withdraw or share all your love with your children thinking about divorce.

You can’t sit still and relax, there’s a compulsion to keep busy. You worry. Sometimes it even feels like panic.

Maybe you like your world to be a certain way and it feels terrible if there is a disappointment or change of plans. Your partner feels controlled, you often feel out of control.

What is going on here?

Many of our feelings and behavioral responses are laid down in childhood.

We protect, reject, project and react from those childhood parts of us. Our Parts that were emotionally neglected, shamed, abandoned or not accepted or allowed to explore or make mistakes as little people.

We may have received conditional love if we did well at sports or feel that we were not seen, heard, or supported. We feel invisible, voiceless, and not good enough on the inside. It’s a struggle to let love in. We hide.

This then plays out for us in adulthood. Our partner selection ensures we will find a person who mirrors our caregivers negative and positive traits. Our parts will become active in their adaptive ways trying to protect our emotional selves.

No you haven’t chosen the wrong person.

Far from it. Indeed you have found the exact match to help you heal and grow.

Perhaps you relate, or see yourself or your partner?

Watch this video and drop a comment in the box below to share your thoughts and reflections.

Help others by sharing your insights below. Thanks for reading !

It’s Official. I’m a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist!

During my relationship counseling career, I have used the Imago dialogue with couples on and off. There are other approaches we use in sessions too – from leaders in couple therapy like John Gottman and Ellen Bayden.

It wasn’t till Chris and I went through a rocky patch we discovered the power of Harville Hendrix and Helen Lakelly-Hunt’s Imago Couple Therapy. This beautiful life pair show us the way, having co-authored many books together. Including the classic ” Getting the Love You Want” self-help guide. This book has now been in print for over 40 years! Tried and true.

What anniversary is that I wonder?

Chris and I went to the Couples retreat. Here you learn the principles of Getting the Love you Want in the workshop.

This weekend sold me on Imago. We came away more connected, and loving.

In those two days, and to his credit Chris came too. We decided to train in this special relational healing method. A couple of years ago Chris and I attended the training, many days.

Yet I could not call myself and Imago Therapist.

One had to be certified.

An intensive process of supervision, presenting videos of my work, being a helper at workshops, more training, and then a final assessment once I had completed everything.

Last month my official Imago certifier Peter Macmillan, sent me an email. He had reviewed my final tape. He said I had passed with excellent marks. Phew!

So it’s official now. I am an Imago Therapist certified by Imago Therapy International.

Proud to be supporting people in all their relationships. Cheers!

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