Two unhealthy dynamics that are ruining your relationshipJul 01, 2022
Becky looked at the countertop full of dishes and clenched her fist. Do I have to do everything around here, she thought. She had asked John to clean it up. He said he would, and yet she couldn’t find him. He’s probably in the bathroom, on his phone. Again. Feeling her jaw tighten she began clearing away the dishes.
John came into the room, looking annoyed. “I said I would do it.”
“Yeah? When?” Becky snapped.
“I would have, if you would have given me a chance.”
Anger overwhelmed her, and Becky launched into the litany of criticisms immediately available in her head and for the next twenty minutes, her and John fought. This time, it was because he didn’t do what he said he was going to do – fast enough.
I wonder, does this sound like something you can related to?
Humans relate to each other and the world through relationships. Every single thing you come in contact with whether it’s that painting gifted to you from a loved one (that you hate but don’t get rid of out of guilt), the way you interact with your partner, kids, co-workers and strangers, the thoughts in your head and the habits you have, these are all relationship. Our interactions can contribute to positive relationships, while others feed negative and toxic relationship patterns. Because relationships literally cover everything, today we are going to focus specifically on your relationship with your partner.
Before we dive into the two toxic dynamics that are ruining your relationship, it’s important to make sure we understand how relationship dynamics get created. The answer is simple and layered, lol. In short – your beliefs about yourself, others and life, give context and texture to how you approach and interact with yourself and others. Whether your perception is positive or negative, happy, fun, and uplifting, or degrading and triggering your need to be protective and defensive – depends on your beliefs.
But are they actually YOUR beliefs?
This is where it can get complicated, because your beliefs are often not your own. You inherited them from parents, friends, TV, school, society, etc and many of them can often be conflicting. (Nothing like a little complication, right?) For example, perhaps you have been raised to believe that marriage is a sacred contract between a man and a woman, and that divorce is frowned upon, but your life experience is that you are gay and your parents ended up divorced. This reality vs belief situation creates a lot of conflicting stories in your head, with conflicting feelings that go with it.
Navigating the perception vs the truth can be confusing – mainly because the belief was embedded during your formative years so you might have a hard time not believing it as “true.” It’s all you’ve known growing up. By the way, this is just one of the many reasons that energy healing is amazing – it helps weed out these outdated beliefs that interfere with you being able to be fully present to what is actually happening in your life, vs what programming go installed in you at a young age.
The point is – how you feel about yourself, what you feel you deserve, gender roles, parenting styles, money beliefs and so much more all come into play when you engage in a relationship with another soul. (And it gets even more interesting when children are involved!)
Having said this, these beliefs become the energetic patterns that play out in your relationships.
I think most relationships start off with feeling like this person is the perfect match for you. (Otherwise, why would we bother?) They mostly say the right things, cause you too feel great, allow you to feel seen, heard, appreciated and deserving of love. This is the honeymoon phase when we all get sold and are selling a bill of goods. We want the buy-in because we want to be loved.
Next, reality starts to set in. The effort maintained to win the partner cannot continue and other truths starts to seep through. This is normal, of course, we put our best foot forward, but we are human and in order to continue moving, the other foot must follow. Lol The curtain comes down and we get a peek at what we actually signed up for. Toe pickers, nail biters, neurotics, won’t clean up, cook dinner, etc loves to cuddle, is a great kisser, makes you your favorite drink when they see you are down – the good and the not so great.
From here, things can get wild – you grow, you change, individually and together. You fight, you make up, you make love, you hate each other, you love each other – you go through the whole range of emotions you have access to, and you find out where the living and dead spots are in the relationship – where you connect, you might never connect, where you could connect but aren’t, and so on. Again, normal and human. And every day you wake up and decide to continue or end the relationship. For each day you stay, the relationship begins to take on a life of its own, an energy signature designed through the weaving of the micro interactions you have with your partner.
And as time goes on, your beliefs come more into play and bring with them the dreaded expectations. Now don’t get me wrong, reliability is comforting and helps establish trust, but expectations, in my experience, are damaging. The reason is because they are rigid and often have nothing to do with the dynamic soul before you, and more to do with your desire to adhere to your beliefs (again probably actually not yours, but you’re holding onto them like they were).
Expectations sound like:
“A good lover should be like…”
“A good partner does….”
“If he/she/they loved me…”
They are essentially conditions and ultimatums, and everyone has them.
Expectations complicate relationships, because they often come with a set of coping strategies and defense mechanisms that aren’t healthy and are based on past experiences which really shouldn’t be applied to the present situation, but you more than likely never examined them consciously, so you just run with it. These include: ignore, criticize, attack, stuff your emotions with food, lie, feel overwhelmed and flooded with anger and other strong emotions, silent treatment, and manipulation – among others. You have the desire to please which conflicts with feeling overwhelmed. Perhaps you and your partner have different tolerances for chaos, and this affects your physical and mental boundaries. And, of course, all of us are touched by unconscious biases that result in stereotypes you might not even be aware of having.
When these negative coping strategies are your default reactions (not responses) within a relationship, before you know it – arguing becomes the pattern, or belittling, bickering, constantly criticizing, or doing it yourself, feeling like your partner is less than, attempting to dominate. There might be verbal abuse, punishment, disengagement, nagging, chronic frustration and anger, constant attempts to “educate” or correct and other ways that you end up communicating disrespect instead of love.
If it happens on a smaller scale you might decide it’s normal and even if you don’t like you, accept it. If it’s rampant and ongoing, hopefully you seek to heal it, and if it’s toxic and not worth it, ideally you get out. There are two relationship dynamics that I have seen most negatively affect what could otherwise be healthy relationships. They are often unconscious patterns that once brought to the surface can be healed.
The Victim/Villain dynamic.
In my work with clients, I find this one to be initially, the most destructive energy dynamic – especially for the person is caught on the victim side. It’s so destructive because often the client is focused on how to get the other person to change and is not interested in seeing how they might be contributing to their victim status themselves. This dynamic plays out like this - one of you is attacking, oppressing, minimizing or hurting the other – either physically, emotionally or mentally. While the other feels attacked, belittled, oppressed or abused in some manner. And these roles can change, even in the course of a single conversation!
The victim/villain energetic pattern is so pervasive, because almost everyone is not only familiar with this dynamic, but has participated in it so many times, it feels “normal.” This pattern leads to tit-for-tat thinking, blaming, shaming, and guilt-tripping behaviours and thoughts, and results mostly from the two people in the relationship attacking one another instead working together to solve the problem.
A lesser version, yet still unhealthy, is the hero/rescued dynamic where one party feels they need to swoop in and solve all the problems. Both of these result in one party feeling less than, and causes them to go on the defensive, entering a protective state that might include any strategies from complete shut down to attacking first (before they feel attacked) – none of which contribute to healthy relationships.
Having positive interactions and focusing on the problem and not the person are fundamental to beginning to break up the crystallization of this pattern.
The Parent/child dynamic.
This dynamic can be equally destructive. I have found that most often it is the woman who create this dynamic and understandably so, especially if she is also a mother. But, to be clear, that is not a hard and fast rule – not allowing the other party in the relationship to take full responsibility for their role and the consequences of their actions is what creates this destructive energetic pattern. Becky is demonstrating this pattern.
The parent/child dynamic happens when one partner attempts to mother or parent the other person. The “parent” then proceeds to basically do all the things - making all the plans cooking all the meals, doing all the chores, etc. They take over because “it’s just easier,” or because the other party “doesn’t do it right” (which includes not doing it fast enough for the other partner).
In this dynamic one party is made to feel that they are not capable or even good enough to try and fail. The “child” is met with impatience, frustration, and will often give up and let the “parent” do it – because let’s be honest, it’s just easier. And this dynamic is also familiar to many, so it can be easy to fall into. In this dynamic the mixed message is destructive, which is, “I want you to help, but you can’t do it the right way.” (so fill in the blank with you are useless, you aren’t good enough, I’m not interested in showing you…)
Both parties end up extremely frustrated and can easily deteriorate into Victim/Villain. The “child” feels that they have no chance or opportunities to try and fail, and certainly no room to learn to do it their own way with success. The “parent” often gets resentful and angry, feeling like they are doing all the things (because they are) and yet are often confused about why no one will help out. The “parent” struggles to understand that they are the ones creating this unproductive dynamic because their need to control is smothering any authentic desire and willingness to support on the part of the ”child” who now feels, - over the course of many failed interactions - they can’t meet expectations properly.
In order to break this pattern, releasing the need for control, for it to be perfect, and the need for others to do it your way in order for you to feel safe and calm is required.
When thinking back to the honeymoon phase, it might be easy to wonder – how did it get like this? Will my partner change? And even - is this relationship savable?
If love is there, then yes, it can be healed. Often though, it is made more challenging because people attempt to fix their problems on the physical level, with their habits or the way they outwardly engage, but behaviour is hard to change until the root issues are dealt with this, and this is where energy healing can create transformation when “nothing worked” in the past.
A relationship healing is an energetic reset. It allows you to energetically release attachments and the focus upon expectations as well as the beliefs that are preventing you from having a healthy relationship.
Everyone brings old beliefs to new situations and ends up applying tactics that may have worked in the past or for your parents but aren’t appropriate for the NOW or for YOU. It’s the default mode of operating. This is why bringing conscious awareness to these beliefs is necessary, so you can decide if they are still valid and worthy of moving forward with you.
When we release outdated beliefs, we make space for new strategies and healthier coping mechanisms to come into our awareness as opposed to being ignored because we are simply, unconsciously running our programs.
A relationship clearing helps you to call back all parts of yourself that you lost feeding the unhealthy patterns and dynamics. Contracts and vows made on unconscious levels are also resolved. This makes forgiving past hurts much easier and creates needed space between the way things were and the way things are moving forward!
Forgiveness and compassion come from a deeper understanding of what is happening and relationship clearings provide this. They also create a new dynamic to build on going forward, one where the new strategies and habits have a chance to flourish because they are not competing and in conflict with the old beliefs stuck inside your head and body!
If you recognize your relationship in one of these destructive energy patterns, consider a relationship clearing as a loving way to start anew and reconnect in a loving way with the partner you chose.