‘Love,’ by Ukrainian sculptor Alexander Milov
Most emotional problems that erupt between intimate partners stem from wounds that were incurred with parents and siblings in the formative years of childhood. The tension between the desire for, and fear of, intimate connection can twist couples into painful knots. In order to untangle emotionally charged issues, it is necessary for each person to see how each their patterns of attachment are challenged by the partner’s.
By gaining some perspective on the reactive patterns that get reciprocally triggered in one another, it becomes possible for the couple to come to an empathic understanding that is inclusive of the pain of both. Each partner needs to recognize the source of his or her pain – where it originally came from – and convey it to the partner in a way that allows the pain to be shared. In this way, relationship problems can actually become an opportunity to develop a deeper intimacy based in mutual empathy, respect and compassion.