Soon I will be teaching classes on finding and maintaining sustaining love. One of the classes will be based on the book and the worksheets in Getting the Love you Want. We are searching for partners that will heal our unmet wounds or needs from childhood. I agree that we gravitate towards both of the positive and negative aspects of our parents and that the more we become aware of this unconscious drive, the more we will pick partners that will be better fits, we will make choices that promote growth and satisfaction in our relationships, and in the end we will learn to create lasting relationships.
For those of you that are currently dating, in relationship or married, take a look at your date, partner, or spouse. Sit down and make a list of the positive AND negative characteristics in your father. Then do the same for your mother. Now take a closer look at your significant other. What positive aspects of he/she is like your parents’? Now what negative aspects do they possess? Strange? Not really.
At first, love is blind. We are so into our partners that we only see all of the wonderful things about them. We are in love, passion, and romance and we do not see their flaws and they don’t notice ours either. Until one day we wake up out of the fantasy and we are smacked in the head and heart with reality. Our partners are not perfect! And they don’t think we’re perfect either! In Imago Therapy, this is going to happen and it is ok. The next step in this love story is called developing The Conscious Marriage.
First 5 of the 10 characteristics of a Conscious Marriage
1. You realize that your relationship has a hidden purpose- the healing of childhood wounds. Patterns surface in the struggle and you see why. “When I was 8 years old I experienced this____________ therefore in my relationship I get upset when this ______________occurs.”
2. You create a more accurate image of your partner. You learn to let go of both positive and negative projections you have created and you begin to view them for who they really are.
3. You take responsibility for communicating your own needs and desires. You no longer expect your partner to be a mind reader. You learn to express your needs and wants directly.
4. You become more intentional in your interactions. You learn to respond to your partner versus react.
5. You learn to value your partner’s needs and wishes as highly as your own. You become less self-focused and you choose to and want to meet the needs of your partner.
In the next few weeks I will describe the last five characteristics of living a conscious marriage. Hopefully this teaser will make you want to stay tuned and read the next blog about getting the love you want.