On-again, off-again relationships: RTT can provide clarity
It's heart-wrenching how often I encounter clients teetering on the edge of despair within their romantic relationships. The recurring theme? Feeling unseen and unheard by their partners — an agonising ache that echoes through past relationships.
One client's story resonates deeply. He loved his partner dearly but found himself seeking connections elsewhere, flirting with others. His heart remained tethered to his relationship, yet he struggled to unfurl the depths of his honesty and vulnerability. Meanwhile, his partner, wrestling with mounting distrust, slipped into a pattern of increasing control within the relationship. The rift widened, fueled by unspoken truths and unaddressed emotional needs.
This scenario isn't uncommon. It's a narrative woven with longing, love, and an inability to bridge the gap between inner truths and outward expressions. The result? A cycle of unmet needs, silent yearnings, and a relationship suffocated by the weight of unspoken words.
Navigating the complexities of on-again, off-again relationships can feel like an emotional rollercoaster. Often, we find ourselves trapped between the desire to stay and the feeling that our needs aren't met. This inner conflict leads to resentment, leaving us questioning why promising relationships turn into unmanageable situations where sharing a room becomes impossible.
What do we do when we find ourselves in this position?
When a relationship hits a rough patch, the instinctive reaction is often to walk away, fueled by the belief that we're with the wrong person and a better match awaits elsewhere. Yet, it's vital to recognize that relationships aren't standalone entities; our past, notably our childhood experiences, profoundly shapes how we navigate relationships.
My advice during relationship struggles, unless there's an imminent threat, is straightforward: pause. Take a moment to observe what's unfolding in the relationship. Use these moments of difficulty as opportunities to explore the beliefs and emotions triggered within you. Understand the patterns you're unconsciously repeating in this relationship turmoil. This introspection can offer profound insights into your own emotional landscape and the dynamics at play in the relationship.
These connections serve an unconscious purpose: facilitating healing from childhood beliefs and wounds. When we exit a relationship, our unresolved baggage accompanies us, potentially projecting onto new partners—both positive and negative traits.
Understand that all relationships go through 3 cycles...
Romantic love: In this stage we tend to automatically cast our partner in an ideal light, portraying them as flawless and perfect.
Power struggle: As time progresses, the relationship inevitably enters the phase of a power struggle. This stage unveils previously unseen or uncomfortable traits in our partner, triggering feelings of discomfort and tension within the relationship. The emergence of discomfort often finds its roots in various sources. Sometimes, it's a reflection of similarities between our partner's behaviour and the challenging traits of parental figures from our past.
Other times, it's our projection onto our partner, attributing characteristics or behaviours to them that mirror our unresolved issues or unaddressed emotions. This phase marks a shift from idealized perceptions to a more realistic understanding of our partner and ourselves within the relationship dynamic.
Real love: Harville Hendrix, world-famous creator of Imago couples therapy, emphasises that true love is a learned skill, a behaviour prioritising the other's welfare. Salvaging relationships involves understanding our role in conflicts and power struggles. Hendrix suggests that unresolved issues from past relationships may resurface if not addressed, leading to repeated patterns in new relationships.
How to survive the power struggle...
Surviving the power struggle entails creating a space for open dialogue within relationships. While communication skills play a role, recent studies suggest that changes in satisfaction precede changes in communication, emphasising the need for deeper shifts within relationships.
Enter Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT), employing hypnosis to delve into our subconscious, unveiling the roots of our pain and unmet childhood needs. RTT facilitates conscious awareness of needs, drives, and behavioural patterns, empowering individuals to break free from unconscious cycles and fostering genuine connection and growth.
However, what if your partner isn't willing to engage in this work?
The dynamic between two individuals is powerful; even if one person evolves, it inevitably alters the relationship dynamics, potentially prompting change in the partner. Should this not occur, exiting the relationship, having healed parts of oneself, ensures that the dynamic won't perpetuate, offering a sense of closure and growth.
Within this turmoil of relationship conflict lies an opportunity for growth and transformation. It's a call to excavate the buried emotions, to navigate the uncharted territories of vulnerability, and to foster a space where authenticity can breathe. It's a chance to mend the fractures, not by shying away from the truth, but by embracing it with courage and compassion.
For my clients and anyone resonating with being stuck in a power struggle, this article is a reminder that there's hope. It's the recognition that unravelling the tangled threads of communication, trust, and vulnerability can lead to the rediscovery of authentic intimacy— an intimacy that transcends the barriers of fear and control, weaving a tapestry of understanding, empathy, and love.