According to Harville Hendrix, PhD , Getting the Love you want: A guide for couples, it’s the “picture (image) of the partner who can make one complete and whole again” (image meaning imago in Latin), as in the complex picture of early childhood caregivers. Imago theory implies that we seek for partners who have the potential to help us complete unfinished matters from childhood. Our adult relationships and conflicts seem familiar because they remind us of our early caregivers. These relationships give us new opportunities to heal and transform previous wounds and finding deep relational fulfillment. But this remains an opportunity, not a guarantee.
Our unconscious need is to have our feelings of “aliveness and wholeness” restored by someone reminding us of our early caregivers.
In other words, we are looking for someone who reminds us of our early caregivers.
WHEN WE FALL IN LOVE
So when we fall in love and the world is suddenly perceived as a safe and better place, our old brain tells us that we have found someone who can finally help meet our needs. Unfortunately, since we do not understand what is happening, we are shocked when the terrible truth of our dear surfaces and our first impulse is to escape from the situation.
It seems to be an illusion to believe that it is not normal for relationships to suffer from increasing pressure at times, especially in everyday life. Unaddressed problems and unresolved emotional conflicts can easily contribute to experiences of tension and stress over time, which can make each partner feel exhausted, depressed, desperate, and develop lower self-esteem and lack of confidence. When a relationship is at the breaking point, separation or divorce may seem the only option.
However, talking through problems with an experienced professional psychologist individually as well as together at times of crisis can help you get to the core of conflicts and re-learn how to appreciate each other’s experiences, thoughts and feelings and preventing things to escalate further.
OUR OVERALL GOAL
We have as an overall goal to help couples work towards a more successful relationship where both parties feel stronger together as well as individually! The wish to begin in couples therapy is for many about the desire to manage to move forward, get professional help to put the past behind, not to miss the present and to create a future together!