Managing the Emotional Health in a Relationship

Relationships have an inherent appeal and consequence that is similar to the addictive and withdrawal symptoms of drugs. At first, the novelty fuels our desire to spend as much time as possible getting to know someone, paying attention to details, learning as much as we can, and getting to know their body, mind, and soul.

The state of what we think we deserve and what we trust or fear from other people determines the quality and longevity of our current connection. In order to maintain a solid marriage or long-term relationship, we must be aware of how we take care of both our partner’s and our own mental health.

Getting to a deeper place of meaning and intimacy means more work

Because it is so satisfying, the first experience of a new relationship becomes intense and something we continuously want and long for. When we are with someone who is new, we sense a connection and a sense of life. We are infatuated with them. It’s love, pure and simple, a chemical addiction that occurs when our bodies bind to another person. However, no connection on Earth can survive this initial wave of ecstasy and euphoria. Eventually, the inevitable occurs. The fun starts when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable in order to “level up.”

We are said to start to normalize each other at the 12- to 18-month stage in a relationship. Our drug dependence has lessened than it did at first. We make assumptions about behavioral tendencies. Based on our common experiences and past interactions, we start to construct stories about the individual. We are no longer as excited as we once were, and novelty has diminished. It will take more work to reach a higher level of closeness and significance, and extending our vulnerability is absolutely essential to this process.

Additionally, risk equates to vulnerability. We will view the relationship through the prism of our learned anxieties or hopeful trust based on our past experiences. My earliest memories of love and intimacy, from my early years, provide as a foundation for my expectations and my approach to playing my part in the intimacy dance. Feel free to roll your eyes.

Examine your early years to learn more about your relationship issues.

Most of the time, we stutter through life without realizing why we respond and absorb information in the ways that we do. Every person is different from the next, and they all live their life using templates that they have learnt from their early experiences.

I start our exploration of this pattern as therapists by posing questions to my patients. How did things used to be at home when you were a child? How was the emotional climate? What was the appearance of love? How were disputes resolved? Did your parents come along? Were they open to receiving emotions? Did they feel enraged? Were they self-centered? Did they feel nervous? Were they depressed? How were things between mom and dad? In what way were your needs met? Did you feel prioritized, safe, loved, and wanted? Did you experience guilt? Family problems are usually excused with statements like, “things are fine now,” “that was then,” “how could it be affecting me now as an adult,” “they provided,” and so on. All very accurate, but not very helpful for someone who wants to know the real reason behind their feelings and actions.

People need to face the truth about their childhood hangover and how it is affecting their lives if they are willing to look into why their relationship is failing and what steps they can take to mend and grow both personally and in their relationship. examining how we as children responded to our surroundings to maintain a connection and how we understood our importance of having our needs met with unconditional love and acceptance in a curious and nonjudgmental manner.

I ask my clients to put themselves back in their childhood memories, maybe watch what was happening like it was a movie, and then explain what they see. Again, I say this not to place blame but to comprehend and come up with solutions before the hangover from childhood destroys modern marriage.

We see the world through a lens of conditions based on our childhood

Take a moment to consider the possibility that, to varying degrees, every individual has developmental attachment trauma affecting all facets of their existence. When we are young, we internalize the values and treatment we received from our primary caregivers and develop our own sense of self. As children, we are in survival mode. Our need to be connected to our caregivers drives us, and we do not recognize that behaviors that were once temporarily adaptive in childhood could later develop into maladaptive patterns in adulthood. Furthermore, we view the world through a filter of circumstances determined by the lessons we were taught as children. Our unconscious expectations that the story we were exposed to as children will recur throughout our lives are shaped by our survival maps.

I am more likely to feel confident in my relationships if I have an emotionally stable caregiver growing up who is calm, consistent in meeting my needs, and has a sound grasp of emotions. There will be disagreements and difficulties, but I can make repairs since I have learned from my caregiver how to handle these situations and not to be afraid of them. Knowing that there is hope for healing and that I can tolerate discomfort without losing my composure strengthens my ability to withstand setbacks and control emotions. I’m going to develop strong boundaries, self-assurance, emotional control, and positive relationships.

If I’m raised in an environment where I’m not sure how to rely on other people—whether it’s chaotic or abusive, or safe and friendly—I’ll probably absorb the idea that I have to handle problems on my own in order for other people to support me. I am a people-pleaser who is constantly uneasy and nervous. Any little shift in attitude or mood will make me feel uneasy because I will be dependent on constancy. I will internalize rejection and abandonment if actions change and there is no feeling. For me, it’s like death when someone stops communicating and becomes aloof and cold. It throws my emotions into disarray.

I will suppress my emotions and expectations in order to maintain my sense of security and tranquility if I was ignored or abandoned as a child and expecting anything would have caused me too much grief and suffering. Relying solely on myself will give me greater confidence, and behaviors that tend toward reliance on others will make me anxious. I won’t trust anyone and will up strong barriers to communication and needs. In my universe, feelings are dangerous; when someone gets too close, my emotions are put in jeopardy. I fear it even as I desire it. I will become more defensive in order to protect myself if my partner gets emotional.

Every person falls somewhere along these ranges. Imagine a scale with avoidant, rigorously insecure at one end and anxious, emotionally insecure at the other. Secure, healthy presentation would be the middle point of this spectrum. Due to the fact that most of us are unaware of our patterns of intimacy needs, many failed relationships start with an anxious and avoidant person falling in love. After some time has passed, these vulnerabilities are revealed, and each person starts to trigger the other in an endless cycle.

Recognize your unique attachment styles to begin the healing process.

The attachment wounds naturally appear and start to irritate and cause problems when a deeper connection is needed. Without awareness, the damage can be irreparable since both partners often place the blame for the relationship’s issues on the other, when in fact they are both just falling back on coping mechanisms that have served them well throughout their lives. They haven’t been exposed in the same manner as someone with an intimate partner.

My partnership clients can start a healing and recovery process that will support the authentic relationship they deserve and seek once they start evaluating and understanding their own unique attachment types. Once this process of learning starts, relationships can heal themselves and have a longer lifespan. There is a cure for the childhood hangover.