Sometimes I teach classes on finding and maintaining sustaining love. One of the classes is based on the book and an activity in Getting the Love you Want, by Harville Hendrix.. We are searching for partners that will heal our unmet wounds or needs from childhood. I agree whole-heartedly that we gravitate towards both of the positive and negative aspects/traits of our parents in order to heal and that the more we become aware of this unconscious drive, the more we will pick people that can/will develop into lasting relationships. We are drawn like magnets to their negative traits in order to finish unfinished business.

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.  Highlighting the negative and discovering why it triggers you is enlightening.

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, full of passion, and romance and we do not see their flaws or protection mechanisms 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 eventually discover we’re perfect either! In Imago Therapy, this is going to happen and it is welcomed. 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 from your inner child self.
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 my next Blog, 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.