What Makes a Couple Relationship Authentic?
We believe that authentic couples are operating energetically from the Law of Love, (God’s Love). When this Law is fully active, members feel interconnected, operate in integrity, and experience peace, harmony, and understanding in all of their activities. Authentic couples are able to give and receive unconditional love, even in challenging situations involving otherwise untenable conflicts. This is actually allows them to mature, and grow into the individuals and couples they were intended to become.
Authentic, Intimate relationships are alive, dynamic, living organisms that have their own set of unique needs. Like a child, relationships need to be fed, nourished, and exercised, and they grow, change and evolve over time. Understanding and recognizing the “aliveness” of authentic, intimate relationships requires you to be able to witness and observe their growth from the outside, while also experiencing them from the inside.We also understand that each brings a residue of unresolved conflicts and unhealed developmental traumas into our relationship.
We must learn to identify our traumas and unmet developmental needs and any incomplete developmental processes from our childhood caused by abuse or neglect. The effects of these traumas surface during our early relationship conflicts. We recognize that these issues can be allowed to surface when each finally feels safe enough for them to the surface. During the first year, the “honeymoon stage,” we focus on how much we have in common and we avoid conflicts so we can maintain any bonded harmony between us. Our traumatic early childhood experiences and the unresolved issues associated with them, however, can begin creating conflicts that you are forced to address and resolve.
At this point, previous experiences in inauthentic couple relationships prove to be a critical contrast. We know only too well the deep suffering that comes from the people-pleasing, self-debasing, and meaningless existence of living from the False Self and a False Life. We can choose the “road less travelled” and decide to make meaning out of all our conflicts, traumas and suffering. You can convert your relationship into a “safety zone” where all issues can be dealt with together and fully.
Growing up in very dysfunctional families can be great preparation and training for this dual life! You become skillful at trying to hold onto your True Selves while coping with the crazy family dynamics around you. Having rather “resilient coping and hoping skills”, developed because of our traumatic backgrounds, can turn out to be a strength in your current relationship, not a weakness.
The Journey Toward an Authentic Couple Relationship
The most important first step in a journey towards an authentic couple relationship is being able to recognize and accept that you each have brought these unhealed developmental traumas, unresolved conflicts, and unmet developmental needs with you into this relationship. The more you are willing to be honest and forthcoming about your unfinished business, the closer you can become. And the more that we do this, the easier it becomes to develop the trust necessary for helping each other to heal these traumas. When you have a conflict, look at how it might be related to the past, to the present, or to both. Then you can work together to see how you can turn these deficits into assets.
Once you identify this unfinished business, you can establish a process for contracting with each other to finish the things that were not completed in past relationships. This is not a casual undertaking!
As part of your own journey, you can develop a process for healing the developmental trauma from your childhoods and previous relationships that appeared when during our current conflicts.
Tomorrow we will outline 12 important steps to help you move forward in your relationship journey towards being a more authentic couple.
Adapted/ Barry and Janae Weinhold/BH