The secret to a successful relationship nobody is talking about

pMost people are in one or are seeking one: a relationship with a significant other. But often times, when the flowery times have passed, the sex got a little more normal, the household moved together or the marriage papers are signed, something else sets in.

Suddenly we see faces, emotions and actions we did not see before. We think “that’s not the person I fell in love with — boy did he/she change”. Many people are startled by this discovery and quickly break up. Next. Only to go through the same cycle of searching, loving and breaking up again and again and again. After a while some may think that “there is no real partner out there — only cheaters, liars and heart breakers”. Some become cynical, bitter or give up altogether. Others try to make the first move and hurt the other in order not to get hurt themselves. But all that is not necessary!

Let’s have a closer look. Why do people tend to fall time and again for the “wrong” partners? And why can’t they discriminate better the next time around either?

One of the reasons is that nobody teaches or tells us about family dynamics and early childhood imprinting. What is that?

A comparison: In the area you life in you have your local weather. But the weather system is a global, even cosmic system. That means if there are massive eruptions on the sun they will influence your local weather. Are we aware of that? Apart from a few scientists, no. Yet, these things do have a massive impact on our local weather. We can choose to ignore them, or look at them and be prepared. The same goes for family dynamics. They are mostly hidden. They are unseen. They are mostly non-linear which makes them even more difficult to spot. Yet, they do impact our lives quite significantly. How?

An example: A woman, let’s call her Anna, 56 years old, university professor comes as a client. Her problem is, she lives in a relationship where she cannot fully unfold, she feels not really loved by her partner, and the partner instills a feeling in her that something with her is not right. Even though in her everyday life she is a strong and successful woman, she cannot decide what to do and why there is this push-pull going on with her partner. Through a systemic constellation we find out that she feels in the relationship like clamped down by an iron clamp. It’s clearly not good for her. Looking further where that feeling comes from, it becomes clear that her grandmother already had the same feeling with her husband (the clients granddad). It showed that the granddad was a glowing supporter of the Nazi regime and that he “reigned” in his family with an iron fist. He saw kids (one of them the clients mum) as workforce and soldiers for the Nazi regime. Very cold, very disconnected from the heart.

Now, to give you an idea of the force and the emotions encapsulated here: Imagine being part of a female lineage that has been imprinted with that kind of energy. Women being subjected to that coldness and harshness. Growing up as a kid in a family where there is little love but much adoration for a political system that does not care at all for individual well-being. A system that despises certain groups of people and kills for intangible “values”. A system that is responsible for millions and millions of dead people. Now, you have a grandad who is part of such a system. However as a kid you feel the things that are not right. You are afraid of him, but at the same time, kids have a huge capacity for unconditional love. You feel repulsion and love at the same time. How do you negotiate that? What taboos do the family build around that Nazi grandad? What beliefs do you consciously and sub-cosnciuosly build about the world, your family and men in particular?

Such beliefs about our surroundings, people and the world in general are extremely heavily imprinted on us in the early years of our lifes. During the years they come to feel so natural and “normal” that we take them for granted. That’s just how the world is. We forget. But make no mistake, they rule our lifes from the shadows of our minds and souls.

To come back again to Anna. Two important seeds got planted in her childhood. Because of the immense unconditional love for her granddad she formed the idea to help her granddad. She wanted to save him — somehow. Get him out of the dark into the light. But not only that, at the same time she also felt guilty and ashamed of having a granddad who supported mass murder. She always had the feeling that she had to atone for his sins. So, to make up for the sins she choose the same path like her mum and her grandma. She turned to religion. She even became a theology professor. She realized that the pattern of trying to save a cold and re-jecting man got satsified not only in her current relationship, but also in her past marriage and several relationships before that. Her “mission” to save “him” was the weak spot that enabled the partners to exploit her and play all kinds of games with her. She got drawn so much into that dynamic that she did not know what was good for her or not anymore. She just felt something was not right.

Dynamics like that usually shape a whole life. Especially when it comes to choosing a partner the early role-models and imprints of how a partner feels, looks and behaves play out again. They act like filters that influence what we look for and what types of people we find attractive. When we find a match, feelings and impulses that lay dormant get triggered. We step into behaviour and feeling spaces that were not active before, simply because there was no partner to trigger that specific feeling or dynamic.

That’s the real reason why people can change so drastically once a certain level of closeness is established. We get triggered by the other and play out dynamics that often have little to do with our real selves. However if they are not recognized for what they are, they repeat themselves over and over until we “get it” and look at ourselves first, before blaming others.

So if you get into the same patterns over and over again, ask yourself what your part in the game is. Which feelings and behavior patterns are the common denominator in your current and past partnerships ?

In that sense the secret nobody is talking about, is that we need to develop the resilience and sensitivity to acknowledge our own imprints (the garbage we bring with us) and develop the discernment to distinguish between true love and attraction that stems from an imprinted childhood pattern. Many people think they experience true love, but the minute they realize, that they played out a childhood imprint or a dynamic from their family system — they loose interest in that (certain type of) person. They are set free. Automatically they attract more healthy and fulfilling partners that are more in line with what they really need.

If you already feel true love but you experience a lot of problems in your relationship(s) you need to aknowledge that your partner also comes with a set of imprints and that it’s not the real her/him you are talking to in certain situations. Basically relax, trust and connect to your heart and the feeling of love. You don’t need to react to everything.

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