Can Your Marriage Help You Heal An Unhealthy Childhood?

I tend to prefer to guide my clients toward a more hopeful future with little patience for delving too deeply into the past. Why stay stuck in the past when we can make positive changes to create a better future right now? That being said, sometimes we need to examine where we’ve been in order to know where we’re going.

My training in Imago Relationship Therapy provides a paradigm that blends forward-leaning thinking with an examination of the past that doesn’t leave you stuck there – thus transforming past problems into future possibilities. Surprisingly, the key ingredient, or linchpin, to all this is your marriage. Imago therapy teaches that your marriage is the powerful catalyst that heals the wounds of childhood by transforming worn-out and oftenpainful relationship patterns into new and exciting ways of connecting.

Imago” is the Latin term for image. One of the core precepts of the Imago Process is that each of us carries, deep inside, an unconscious image of our ideal partner. This image develops in childhood and powerfully influences the type of partner we select as adults. It also impacts how we relate to that partner.

We constructed the blueprint of our “Imago” by combining all the positive and negative traits of our parents. It is this blueprint we use in our search for a mate, and it’s familiar and comfortable, but not always healthy. However, it compels us to choose the kind of partner we need in a committed, intimate relationship in order to heal and grow.

Wouldn’t it seem logical, though, that we would choose partners who don’t have the negative attributes of our parents? Why would we search for the very traits that wounded us and caused us so much pain? Because it is the pain from those old wounds that we now seek to heal. Our subconscious is trying to replicate the environment of our upbringing in order to correct it.

When we are physically wounded, our bodies instinctively go into healing mode. Our psyches respond in much the same way. When we look for a mate we are subliminally trying to recreate those same patterns from childhood in order to grow and heal. As these familiar patterns replay in our marriage and those old wounds are reopened, we can work with our partner to change the script of our story from a painful one to a healing one. We can do it differently now. As we grow in our marriage we can respond with the love, compassion and empathy that we so wanted and needed as a child. We can begin to leave those wounds behind by co-creating a healthier reality with our spouse.

If you would like to talk to me personally about how to have a more passionate and supportive marriage click here to set up a Discovery Session with me.