When it comes to relationships, we have all experienced the good and the bad at some point in our lives. Some of us seem to attract the wrong type like a moth to a flame.
I have had a rush of clients the past 6 months all with severe emotionally draining relationships, wives and husbands fighting over trivial issues. When people nitpick at the little things, it’s really covering up larger issues. After all, nitpicking over trivial matters, emotionally, is a lot easier for people to deal with than the bigger, underlying issues. The most common “big issue” I see in my practice is a lack of trust, which is mainly due to the baggage we each bring to relationships. This is mainly because our baggage affects how we relate to others, which blocks us from opening up ourselves in relationships.
For example, I had a client (Susan—name altered to ensure anonymity), who was married for 3 years. As far as she knew, everything was going along fine with her husband. They just had a baby boy who was 9 months old and had some health issues, so it was putting a little bit of stress on their relationship. Even with all the stress, she still thought her relationship was fine. That all changed when her husband suddenly hit her with divorce papers and walked out of her and her son life with no explanation. After speaking with her, she told me her husband’s parents were overprotective and never taught him how to do anything: cook, clean, take care of himself, what she considered to be normal life functions that her parents taught here from a very young age, so when he did things wrong according to her she had to teach him the correct way to function and relearn things according to her ways. Part of that was belittling him and a lot of screaming for what she felt was his lack of effort to do things the right way.
As we went deeper into her childhood, many issues came out to explain her behavior. Her mother would berate the children daily for every wrong thing they did and most other things right or wrong. According to Susan her mother was building character in them. Everyday things from showers, to clothing, the way they ate, their posture were all subjected to her ridicule and verbal abuse. Needless to say the mother was overbearing and controlling, her father was distant, drank a lot and did not show the children any love.
After speaking with Susan for 3 weeks she had come to realize she turned into her mother and was treating her husband the same way she was treated as a child. For 3 years, she verbally abused and manipulated her husband all based on how she was raised as a child.
This is but one example of how our past and childhood experiences shape our relationships, good or bad!
I am working on finishing my new book on relationships, It will be the definitive guide to relationships for all.