Why Our Family Members And Romantic Partners Are Our Biggest Mirrors
Most people have some sort of difficulty with family members and romantic partners. For some, there’s always drama in the family, whereas for others family relationships are very distant and detached. In terms of romantic relationships, a whole host of issues can show up, such as trouble finding a partner, not being able to keep a partner, or getting involved in unhealthy relationship dynamics. There are reasons why these issues show up, and they all stem back to childhood. Relationships with our primary caregivers and family members set up the way our relationships will play out for the rest of our lives.
It might seem unfair, but there are ways you can change the dynamics within yourself in order to have your true values and ideals reflected back at you in your relationships with others.
All about Energies
Human beings are energetic beings, first and foremost. Though we cannot see it with our eyes, the fact is, energies are at play in all of our relationships. Since family members are connected by blood, and romantic partners are often connected by sex (even if sex hasn’t been had yet, sexual hormones can create strong attachments), these people in our lives can serve as our biggest mirrors. They are a direct reflection of the issues we have lurking inside of us.
Sometimes it seems like they know exactly what to do or say to push our buttons. Consciously, they might not, but subconsciously, both of you are showing each other unhealthy behavior patterns and dynamics you have been part of, often for many years, that need to heal. I’ll share a personal example of my own.
Learning from Family Ties
In my own family, I was the oldest child. I was taught to “be a role model” and that we “always have to have each others’ backs”. This turned me into a huge over-giver, and this was starting to show up in my life in terms of advice.
I have been on a healing journey for the past few years, and since I had healed so much in myself, I felt I had a lot to teach others. And since I cared about my family, I wanted to share it with them. When they would complain to me about some issue in their life, I would try to give my perspective and advice. More often than not, they were extremely unreceptive and hostile, attacking my character and telling me why I was wrong. When this happened, it wounded my ego. In my mind, I was just trying to help because I cared about them, but to them, my advice felt like an attack. I had to go within and ask myself why I continued to give them advice, even though it was received with such hostility. I realized that for years I was taught to help my family at my own expense. Even though they continued to hurt me, I continued to want to help them. And it was extremely toxic behavior.
Their hostility also opened another wound in me. It made me feel like the advice I was giving was wrong, which triggered beliefs that the personal truths and values I’d worked so hard to maintain weren’t good enough, that I wasn’t smart enough, that I have no right to speak my truth, and that I am not a helpful person. Those were also ego beliefs that I had developed during childhood.
It took me a very long time to learn this lesson, and it was extremely painful, but it resulted in my desire to channel that helping energy into healthier outlets, such as this one! I had to learn not to help people who weren’t expressly asking for it, even if it seemed like they were in the form of complaining about their life situation – they weren’t – and not to give my advice to people who have rejected it in the past unless I knew it would turn into a healthy and genuine conversation.
Otherwise, the energy becomes negative rather than positive, and even though my intention is to help, it becomes harmful to both parties involved.
Realize Your Role in the Toxicity
So before you write off a family member as “toxic” and cut them off completely, ask yourself, “What role have I played in this toxic dynamic?” Sure, the person might actually be toxic, but the more toxic they are, the more they can actually teach and show you. If you cut out one person without resolving the issue, another person will just show up in their place to teach you the same lesson. Once most or all of your issues with a person have been cleared up, often you find that you naturally move out of each others’ lives, or your relationship will become healthier due to the inner work you have done.
So, instead of reverting to your typical reactions with certain family members during an argument, try to see it as a puzzle you are solving. What is this showing me that I don’t like in myself? In what ways have I allowed this person to hurt me? How can I change my behavior next time so that this issue doesn’t come up?
Life becomes a lot more fun this way when we see it as a puzzle or a game. You might even silently thank the person for triggering you to heal.
Get Daily Wellness
You might also like…
- by John Kenny 8 MINUTE READ
- by Dr. Paul Haider 24 SECONDS READ
- by Shelby Carino 4 MINUTE READ
- by Nicole McCray 7 MINUTE READ
- by Mia Barnes 8 MINUTE READ
- by Dr. Paul Haider 35 SECONDS READ