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Is your Past Affecting Your Now?

Today I want to talk to you about your past and ask you the important question “Is your Past affecting your Now?”.

Many couples I see are struggling to be connected at a deeper level because one of them is attempting to control the environment to such an extent that the other feels stifled and unable to be themselves.  The partner who is ‘controlling’ is living in fear that unless they control as much of their environment as they can they will feel unsafe, insecure and, in some cases, very scared.  They believe that controlling will keep them safe and secure.  In fact what happens is they lose the very security they want as their partner finally gets so fed up they look for ways to escape.

What neither couple probably understands is that most controlling behaviour is due to a fear.  The fear of insecurity.  In many cases the behaviour was initially created to keep the person safe and was absolutely necessary at the time.  The problem is the person has hung on to the behaviour long after it was needed.

Let me give you a couple of examples:

  • A man who was bullied at school may have discovered by withdrawing and creating a small safe ‘world’ that he felt safe.  His world maybe rather enclosed but nevertheless safe.  He allowed people he could trust into it – maybe his parents and one or two friends.  Now years later he is still running the same pattern.  He wants to know what his partner is doing when not with him, what she’s saying and where she’s going.  His insecurity is stifling their relationship.
  • A girl abused as a child may close down all true  feelings of love and closeness to keep her safe.  She may become a pleaser and, even, sleep around as she gets older,  in an attempt to be the same as those she perceives around her.  Often she may blame herself for the abuse and this is her way of dealing with her past.  She created a behaviour to keep her safe at the time but is still running it now and so is unable to connect deeply to feelings of love.

Of course these are just two examples of behaviour strategies – there are many many more, but anyone wanting to get really close to either of these examples will find a barrier in their way and not understand why.

I work with many couples to help them understand what is going on and then with the individual to change their behaviour, whilst keeping them safe.  Once this happens the individual is open to new ways of being and will safe to be who they truly want to be.

This opens up the relationship to new choices and understandings.  From here we work to discover if the couple have a future where both can be who they were designed to be and also a team together where the future is exciting.

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Comments

  1. me and my husband fit into this patten as i was a abused child teenage and wife
    my husband was bullied and needs to control he life by being on his own driving for a living and has some friend he let in
    me i do everything i can to please him but only get lots of angry fed back on what i not doing right in the way i speak condot myself like he want the perfert person that i not i dont now any more want to do but leave

    • Linden Porter says:

      Hi Linda and thank you for your comment. His anger is feeding a need in him in a destructive way – the problem is he doesn’t know how to break it as he believes, wrongly, that he cannot change. We can all learn how to choose our emotions but we need to learn how and then to practice the new behaviour. I don’t know where you live but if you are able then do contact me. Kind regards
      Linden

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