Friday, March 02, 2007

Getting The Love You Want: Hendrix

I'm reading Getting The Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. Hendrix originated IMAGO Relationship Therapy, a unique healing process for couples, prospective couples, and parents. It's an excellent road map for couples who are seeking a path to intimacy and passionate friendship, and helps couples heal one another to become whole together. A quote from the book:

"First of all, we choose our partners for two basic reasons: (1) they have both the positive and negative qualities of the people who raised us, and (2) they compensate for positive parts of our being that were cut off in childhood. We enter the relationship with the unconscious assumption that our partner will become a surrogate parent and make up for all the deprivation of our childhood. All we have to do to be healed is form a close, lasting relationship."

"After a time we realize that strategy is not working. We are "in love," but not whole. We decide that the reason our plan is not working is that our partners are deliberately ignoring our needs. They know exactly what we want, and when and how we want it, but for some reason, are deliberately withholding it from us. This makes us angry, and for the first time, we begin to see our see our partners' negative traits."

It is here that the power struggle begins.

Harville lays out a compelling argument that it is our "old brain," the part of of our unconsciousness that triggers our fight or flee responses. This part of our memory that remembers when we had to scream to get what we wanted, because it was the only way we could communicate. We learned quickly that the louder we screamed, the faster our needs were met. If those needs were unmet, as infants, or in childhood, we recognize our IMAGO (image) partners and unconsciously think we can play out those unmet needs, and heal ourselves. Unfortunately, our partners are usually doing the same thing: trying to heal themselves through us.
The way out of this labyrinth of confusion, hidden behind our power struggle, is a new kind of relationship, a conscious, or sacred, marriage.
"Seldom or never does a marriage develop into an individual relationship smoothly without crisis. There is no birth of consciousness without pain." - Jung
Click here to watch a preview of “Through Conflict to Connection”


Debbie H. said...

Glad you found your way to Harville Hendrix. I think he makes a lot of sense. His ideas have been extremely helpful to me.

Gary Stamper said...

Anyaa turned me on to Hendrix. She's an IMAGO therapist....think it will help when we reach the power struggle phase of our relationship? That, and our consciousness/awareness says we will.