(This article has been excerpted from the book The Intimate Couple, by Jack Rosenberg and Beverly Kitaen-Morse. 1996. Out of print.)
How would like to get through feeling hopeless about your intimate relationship? Can you remember times when you were so unhappy with your partner that you were not yourself, that you got off track with yourself? Intimacy can be fraught with these painful feelings when you lose it, especially when partners do not know how to work with them.
These painful feelings of not being yourself are signs of normal fragmentation, which is losing your own connection inside your body with yourself. One drops in to the past and out of the present when they get off track. First, acknowledge that you have lost it by saying out loud: “I have been fragmented before. I will be fragmented again. I have gotten out of it before. I will get out it again.” This gives a little bit of perspective, a little bit of hope. Secondly, it is important to get grounded in your body. Begin by naming color and objects. This gets you out of the past and in to the present. Take your time, breathe, and try not to rush it.
Next, try to find the time when something happened which took you off track. Go back a day, or two, even a week, and check in to what happened that made you lose it, lose your sense of well-being in your body. Go back to the first event that made you feel negative or fragmented. Then ask yourself what the current event reminds you of in your childhood? Was your partner less caring, which reminds you of one of your parents? For example, did the parent not listen, not acknowledge how special you were, or show you could not trust them? Acknowledge how the current event is somewhat similar to what happened when you were a child, and the parent did not give you the messages that you needed at the time. Stay grounded in your body, which will help you tolerate these feelings.
The last step is to learn to give yourself the messages that were not given to you. Breathe deeply in to your belly, and take the time to sense your body as you give yourself positive messages.
Examples from above could be as follows: “ I care about myself and can be attentive to myself.” Or, “I can listen to myself.” “I am special to myself, and I trust myself.” Take some deep breaths and feel the release inside your body as you say these positive messages out loud to your self. Compassion for your self as a child is important here, as children will do anything to try and get love from their parents. Continue to allow the release of the old pattern and enjoy the release of the past. Notice how you could be feeling relief or happiness with this release, which can calm yourself in a very deep way. Your happiness can be felt as an expansion, peace and depth with your self; a source of who you are now, as a loving adult.
Family patterns are key to understanding what triggers you to get off track in intimate relationship. Learn to give yourself what wasn’t given to you in your family. This is a key tool to getting out of hopelessness, negativity, and family pattern fragmentation in your relationship. This tool can help you put yourself back together when you find yourself doing what we all do; lose it or fragment when our relationship does not give us what we believe it should.
When you learn to give yourself what you are seeking from your partner, you will feel stronger and more solid inside, and you won’t ask your partner to take care of you as much. You will be filling your own cup of love in your heart, which can enhance how much you have to give in an intimate relationship. Know how to put yourself back together when you get off track. When the gifts of love are offered, you can accept the gifts gracefully and contribute love to your partner from your full cup. When you are fragmented, you see your cup as empty, and the other as duty-bound or obligated to make one feel better. Get out of fragmentation and grow the parts of your self up that didn’t get the attention they deserved when you were a child. The intimacy and sexuality between you can increase from an adult perspective.
Want to learn how to do this? I have shown hundreds of individuals and couples how to get out of normal fragmentation. Get out of fragmentation when you need to, and enjoy how you feel when you put yourself back together again! Family habits and patterns do not have to sabotage you in your intimate relationship indefinitely