RE­LA­TION­SHIPS & CON­TROL

Great Health Guide - - FRONT PAGE - Words Leanne Allen De­sign Olek­san­dra Zuieva

Re­la­tion­ships are tricky busi­ness. They can make us feel like the most won­der­ful per­son in the world, or they can bring us down to the depths of de­spair.

Have you ever no­ticed, that there are many games played be­tween cou­ples? We of­ten do not no­tice th­ese games in our own re­la­tion­ship, un­less we have a great friend or been to a good ther­a­pist! The rea­son that we do not see it in our own re­la­tion­ship, is be­cause we are IN the game.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE GAMES PEO­PLE PLAY:

1. The silent treat­ment, ig­nor­ing any chance to talk.

2. Re­sort­ing to name call­ing.

3. Be­ing a bully or a vic­tim.

4. Par­ent/child, e.g. ‘stop act­ing like my mother… then stop be­hav­ing like a child’.

5. You didn’t do ‘x’ for me, so I won’t do ‘y’ for you.

6. I’ll only have sex with you, if you do some­thing for me.

7. I’ll do what­ever I want and you can’t tell me what to do.

8. I take all the re­spon­si­bil­ity in this re­la­tion­ship and you do noth­ing.

HAVE YOU NO­TICED THAT TH­ESE ARE NOT FUN GAMES?

In fact, th­ese are down­right re­la­tion­ship

killer games. The rea­son they are called games is be­cause there are un­con­scious rules in the re­la­tion­ship that al­lows this to con­tinue. Th­ese rules were formed in child­hood and brought into adult­hood un­con­sciously. This means that you didn’t pur­posely set out to play th­ese re­la­tion­ship killer games, but they are ir­re­sistible, un­con­trol­lable even, per­haps even fun in a sadis­tic kind of way!

WHO IS IN CHARGE OF TH­ESE GAMES?

It is your in­ner child. The un­con­scious part of you that feels wounded, hard done by, is a vic­tim or per­haps a bully. We know that when our in­ner child is in con­trol, we start to be­have like a spoilt brat, cry, get an­gry or lose con­trol. Un­for­tu­nately, th­ese are games that no one can win. It is a lose-lose sit­u­a­tion. Be­cause even if you think you have won, you have still lost. Leav­ing your part­ner feel­ing an­gry, hurt and re­sent­ful, may feel like a win in the short term, but it is a sure-fire way of los­ing the game and the re­la­tion­ship, in the long term. Be­cause no one can, or should put up with this be­hav­iour for very long.

WHY DO WE PLAY TH­ESE GAMES?

The child in­side all of us that has been wounded in some way comes back.

This in­ner child causes all sort of havoc in adult­hood. This is not nec­es­sar­ily caused by any kind of trauma. It can be from sim­ply be­ing told ‘no’ more of­ten than the child wanted, or never be­ing told ‘no’, or be­cause they were bul­lied, shy, too pop­u­lar and the more se­ri­ous con­se­quences of ne­glect or abuse.

HERE ARE SEV­ERAL WAYS TO HELP YOUR IN­NER CHILD:

1. Recog­nise when you have al­lowed your child to take over, by ask­ing your­self ‘how old do I feel right now’, be hon­est. If you say any­thing that re­sem­bles a child you know you have lost con­trol.

2. Be kind to your in­ner child, just ac­knowl­edge you are feel­ing the old wounds, even if you don’t know what they are.

3. Do not judge or criticise. You prob­a­bly have had enough of that al­ready.

4. Do not go into a whirl­wind of shame, or ‘why’, or any­thing else, just ac­knowl­edge, smile that you have no­ticed and move on.

5. Seek pro­fes­sional help if your emo­tions have taken over and you feel out of con­trol.

6. If you are con­scious enough to know you are be­hav­ing like a bully take a breath and ac­knowl­edge it to your­self and your part­ner.

7. If you are con­scious enough to know you are be­ing a vic­tim (any­thing that re­sem­bles ‘poor me’), be ex­tra lov­ing/kind to your­self. Have a bath, med­i­tate, cud­dle a dog/cat/ teddy bear.

8. Seek pro­fes­sional help if you no­tice th­ese be­hav­iours only oc­cur with your part­ner and you have not been able to shift them.

How­ever, if the in­ner child re­mains in con­trol of the re­la­tion­ship, then the fight­ing will likely get worse and worse. Re­sent­ment will build and the cou­ple will find it harder and harder to for­give and to move on. There­fore, it is so im­por­tant to go to re­la­tion­ship ther­apy sooner rather than later.

Just like in foot­ball, the coach can see the prob­lems that the play­ers can­not see. The

coach watches the in­tri­ca­cies of the game and teaches the play­ers a new and bet­ter game plan. And that is ex­actly the job of the ther­a­pist, to show the cou­ple how their cur­rent game plan is not work­ing for them and to help them find a new and im­proved one. In the next is­sue of Great Health GuideTM, we will see how we can re­solve th­ese prob­lem be­hav­iours. When both peo­ple in a re­la­tion­ship be­have like adults, the part­ner­ship will grow suc­cess­fully.

Leanne Allen (BA Psych), Is the prin­ci­ple psy­chol­o­gist at Re­con­nect Psy­chol­ogy and Coach­ing Ser­vices with two of­fices, one in River­stone and Wind­sor area. She has trained in Sand­play Ther­apy, NLP and CBT. Leanne has also just com­pleted train­ing as a life coach. Her ap­proach is to look for­ward while re­leas­ing the trauma of the past. If there is some­thing that you would like to know about please feel free to leave a com­ment on her Face­book page.

FIGHT­ING WILL LIKELY WORSE GET IF CHILD THE IN­NER RE­MAINS CON­TROL IN OF THE RE­LA­TION­SHIP.

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