But what surprises me isn’t my anger at him; it’s my anger at myself. To cope, I’ve blamed my partners, I’ve blamed myself, and for a brief period of time, I thought I found the answer in couples therapy. Like any self-help junkie, I made it my business to learn everything I could about the philosophy behind what I hoped would save my relationship.I attended a lecture by Harville Hendrix, founder of Imago Therapy. Because in the midst of a heated battle about whether he was actually going to follow through on a promise he made, a light bulb went off: I really don’t need him to validate that my feelings are okay.
A real detriment to the solid development of a good relationship has everything to do with the ability of the partners to be able to convey a sense of validation for the other person’s feelings.
He spoke on how we can change the world by changing our relationships. He went on to explain how we strive to connect with others in order to experience a taste of the joy and love we once received from our primary caregivers. The fact that I need him to tell me I have a right to feel this way is exactly what’s keeping me in a relationship that’s wrong for both of us.
This connection is our deepest desire and losing it is our greatest fear. It’s counter-intuitive to look to relationships to fix wounds from our past. The belief that I might find joy in a relationship because it might temporarily quell a deeper abandonment issue is the exact reason I remained codependent for most of my life. Whether or not another person sees it, I have a right to feel the way I feel.
After all, your partner isn’t going to fix your old wounds. For the record, I’m not saying couples therapy is bad or that it wasn’t helpful for me.
One just needs a strong sense of self and a clear picture of what they want to achieve. Heal your core fears and wounds and stop thinking that someone else will fix it for you.