A while back I was talking to a client who, in a curt tone, boasted about “training” her husband to do his own cleaning and ironing, and that she wasn’t going to ever do this for him as she didn’t get a university degree to be someone’s servant. And apparently the husband obeyed everything she demanded. And while it’s admirable that she , and most of us, modern self-realized women , are professionals that have a voice, an attitude, and no longer tolerate the male chauvinist construct of where a woman’s place should be, I couldn’t help but notice the woman’s choice of words.
Was her husband a dog to be “trained” to not sit in a puddle? What was up with her passive aggressive tone when referring to her husband, even though she also mentioned that he was the kindest and most soft spoken person she had met in her life? Where was the love in the whole story? The tone she used was no different to those men’s, who take great pride in being degrading and hostile to women.
Where have we gone wrong as a society? Was this the effect of feminism taken to the extreme? Too much stress at work? When did we become so resentful when we speak of our loved ones? What do you think?
Well, as we continued to unravel her family dynamics in our session, I discovered her parents divorced when she was in her teens and the mother had deep resentment towards the father. Her mother would constantly tell her, that her dad was a failure and a good-for-nothing, and that they didn’t need him in their life anymore. And clearly, there were issues between the parents and perhaps justified grudges.
Still though, no matter what the scenario, when one of the parents denies their child the right to bond with the other parent, this will usually create a lot of damage in their future relationships. Out of loyalty, the child continues to live her mother’s drama, in her own relationship, by unconsciously resenting the partner, her father, or men in general.
Of course, when it’s a matter of personal safety in families who experience domestic violence, that is a whole different story. However, even so, one must always internally acknowledge both parents, even if they decide it’s best to distance themself from the abusive parent / guardian.
This was just one of the many examples that can occur in a session. According to systemic constellations, any exclusion and unresolved issue in the family, leads to suffering and imbalance in the children’s , or even grandchildren’s life.
So how do we restore balance in relationships and not turn them into endless power struggles?
Honour your mother and father, no matter what your relationship is/ was like with them.
In simple terms, you need to internalize and embrace both of your parents, just as they are. When you accept the mother and father in you, even in the case that you’ve never met your biological parents, you are also tapping into both your female & male archetype.
Become aware of the female and male archetype in you.
When you become aware of the male and female aspects of yourself, there is no more need for male chauvinism, feminism, or division of any kind. You become a couple in the real sense of that word. You divide responsibility, you work as a team where neither one overpowers the other. There are no male or female chores, just chores. It is about giving your 100 % to your partner, and your partner their 100 % to you, with an open heart.
Honour your past relationships and those of your partner.
Being grateful for all your past relationships, no matter how gracefully or badly they ended, as well as acknowledging all your partner’s relationships, is a very useful systemic approach to creating a more balanced relationship with your current partner.
Find one thing about your partner to be grateful for, every single day.
Instead of nagging and criticizing, focus on all the qualities that are the reason you are with your partner, after months, years or decades. Gratitude melts away friction, division and any need to be controlling.
Act like an adult, and treat your partner as en equal
If you believe that a partner needs to take care of you all the time, you are not looking for an equal, you are looking for a father/ mother. If you like to control and baby your partner, you are not looking for an equal, you are looking for a child. If you are constantly in a power struggle with your partner, you may be reliving rivalry issues with your siblings, parents or past relationships. The key is acknowledging and honouring your system, but being brave enough to step into your role of an independent adult.
If you are experiencing relationship issues and would like to gain more understanding of your internal dynamics through the process of systemic constellations, I’d be happy to assist you. Check out my special offers.