Lead: It’s time to stop looking for external sources of confidence, respect, protection, trust, and affection, and begin giving ourselves what we need to become complete. In this way, our other whole will be able to join us.
When we’re in love, we’re confronted with our biggest fears. This is because we want to give love to our partner, we want to open up to this person, and we want to trust and share our feelings with this person. The high-level union of our body with our partner’s opens up the way toward discovering a deeper part of ourselves, by breaking through any obstacle in the way.
It’s right at this point that all our problems become very apparent; it’s as if we’ve been in a dark room for a long time, and we’re suddenly thrown out in the sun. The light’s too bright, and so we try to protect our eyes by covering them with our hands. Our hands symbolize all our problems and the internal struggle we go through when we’re in a relationship.
At the beginning of a new relationship, everything seems to be great. However, after some time passes, we begin to try to get from our partners anything we didn’t get from our parents during childhood. If you think about it, most probably, this was the case in your past relationships. Through our relationships, we try to fill the gaps that were left by our parents. It’s as if we’re walking around with our hand extended, asking: “Can you give me trust and security?” Of course, this is happening unconsciously, but it is vital that we realize that nobody can fill this gap apart from ourselves.
Abbie told me, “I want to end my relationship with Abraham because it’s leading to a dead-end; I’ve accepted a number of things from him, up until I found him in bed with another woman. I can’t stand being with him anymore!” Abbie and Abraham have now been in a relationship for about a year, and they’re planning to get married this summer. I asked Abbie about her parents’ relationship, and she said, “They got a divorce a few years ago and it was Mum’s decision; not because Dad was actually cheating on her, but because she felt they didn’t really match as a couple. I think my dad was bound to have affairs because he got married at a very young age.”
Abbie’s trying to find the emotional stability with Abraham that she didn’t get from her parents when she was young. Her father had several relationships with other women, and Abbie could sense this at a young age. What does she, therefore, need from Abraham? She needs him to be faithful and provide her with security. Wouldn’t you agree?
Can Abbie heal the emotional wounds from her childhood? Yes, she can if she wants to, but she is the only one who can do it! Only if she becomes stable and faithful herself will she be able to have a stable, faithful partner. This procedure is called “growing up again.”
So how can we judge Abbie’s behavior? Does Abbie clearly communicate her needs to Abraham? She says she can’t stand him anymore, but she stays in this relationship with him. She goes out with her friends and posts photos on Facebook of her with her ex-partner.
Where’s the faith?
Where’s the stability?
In order to attract our perfect match, the first step is to work on our own self-adequacy. We have to stand up on our own two feet and behave like adults. We can’t expect other people to treat us well if we don’t treat ourselves well. Are you expecting your partner to take care of you? Start by taking care of yourself. Do you want your partner to support you in your career? I suggest you first look for ways you can do that for yourself.
Abbie’s father behaved in an unacceptable way, but that’s the reality of the past, and it’s something that can’t be changed. Most of us had a tough childhood; research shows that about 80 % of families are dysfunctional. I understand because I’ve been through it myself and my clients share with me familiar horror stories on a daily basis. However, isn’t it about time to put an end to all this by recognizing what went wrong during our childhood, and deciding not to live through it again? Are we going to let the damaging behavior of our parents ruin our adulthood? I’m sure you’re probably thinking: “What’re you talking about, Jill? I’m on a quest to find my perfect match and your advice is to analyze wounds from my childhood that haven’t healed yet?”
The reason I suggest you work on healing them is that it’s the only way to start a healthy relationship. It’s vital that we become self-adequate. Don’t you think it’s important to prevent yourself from going through the same painful experiences again?
JILL DOUKA, MBA, PCC
#1 International Bestselling Author of Create Love and How to Create Your Life
Business Mentor Awarded by European Union and accredited by Coach Federation
Global Academy of Coaching Director