Resolving the Impact of the Past on Your Relationship
In a relationship facing difficulties, it is common that each partner believes that the other partner is mainly responsible for their issues. Often heard phrases like “if only you could” or “if only they didn’t, then things would be better” show this happening. However, you need to understand what is happening and begin resolving the impact of the past on your relationship.
The belief that we are normal and anyone who thinks or has different opinions is wrong leads to the idea that one partner contributes heavily to the relationship problems. In other words, we are the normal ones in the relationship, and our partner is not.
Awareness of the Past is Key to resolving the Impact of the Past on Your Relationship.
Sometimes we are aware that some things have happened in our past, probably impacting the relationship. In my experience, problems in a relationship are not one person’s responsibility. Indeed, one member of the relationship can contribute to the issues to a larger degree. But how their partner interacts with them magnifies the problems. The past has a big effect on our actions and our responses.
Baggage From the Past
Issues occur in relationships because we bring things from our past when we come into the relationship. Most people refer to this as “baggage”. Baggage implies that it is something that we can get rid of.
However, this “baggage” is part of our personality which have developed throughout our lives. As such, they really can’t be gotten rid of, cut off or bludgeoned into compliance.
The Impact of Our Family of Birth
Each of us is an individual. We are born into a family. Some genetic code from our parents predetermines part of our personality. The rest of our personality develops based on:
- How the family treat us – were we accepted and loved constantly, acceptance and love occasionally or completely rejected
- The ethnic background of our family
- The socio-economic background of our family
- The beliefs of the family which we often take on
- The beliefs of those that we see as authority figures in our lives which we often take on
Couple this with the experiences that we have in life. Our belief systems help us to interpret these experiences. We end up as adults with a particular view of how we understand the world and how we react to the world. Unless somebody has the same journey, you have no chance of finding anybody the same as you.
The Parts of Our Personality That Protected Us
It is also interesting to note that parts of our personality develop to help us cope with things that happen in our lives. For instance, if you are in an abusive relationship, you will create certain parts of your personality to help you cope.
You may become subservient or even a victim to help you survive. But that now is part of your personality and can easily be triggered in relationships. Sometimes we look for relationships that put us back into that type of place because it makes us feel comfortable on some level.
All of these parts of us are brought into a relationship when it first formed. A relationship has three parts. There is Individual One, Individual Two, and then the relationship, which is the sum of the two. Individual One has things they bring from the past; individual Two has things they obtain from the past, and they react together within the relationship.
Understanding Our Drives and Resolving the Impact of the Past on Your Relationship
Unless you can understand your drives as an individual and understand your partner’s drives, you will never understand what caused the issues in your relationship. Understanding drives are critical to resolving the problems in a relationship.
When a couple comes to see a relationship specialist from StartPoint Counselling for the first time, they often concentrate heavily on understanding the individual drives and how they are playing out in a relationship.
Many people think that if they could get out of their current relationship, the next one would be better. But how many times have you heard of people getting back into a very similar relationship and ending up with the same sort of experience?
Relationship counselling/coaching is based on identifying drives and determining how to manage them best. Because they are part of your personality, you are simply not going to be able to cut them off. You can push them down, but eventually, they will resurface. And when they resurface, it will be because they get triggered by something, and they tend to return with a vengeance.
Understanding your drives and understanding when they work for you and work against you is essential to improving your life as an individual and your relationship.
You’ll be amazed how counselling can help you better your life & relationships
You will find that talking with StartPoint Counselling Beenleigh is your starting point for happy relationships and mental wellbeing.
StartPoint Counselling Practice is conveniently located in Beenleigh close to Logan, Mt Warren Park, Stapylton, Homeview, Waterford, Loganholme and Yatala areas. However we also offer phone consultations for your convenience, see more about Booking Appointments here.
We offer a 15-minute complimentary phone session with one of our experienced counsellors. Find out how we can equip you to change your relationship into one that you will want to be part of and improve yourself as an individual as well.