It’s Friday afternoon and I am sitting at my computer preparing for my Conscious Connection Workshop on Saturday. The phone rings and a woman’s voice on the other end of the phone asks “When is the next available appointment?” I explain, “I don’t book appointments straight away. First we have a 20 – 30 minute chat about what is going on to see whether or not I can help you. Then we can book an appointment.”. I had some time free now so I asked. “Are you free to chat now?” “Yes”. “First what is your name?”. “Sam”. I was curious how Sam found me so I asked, “How did you get my number?” “From Google”. We start…“Tell me what is happening.”
Sam then briefly tells me that her partner is calling off the relationship because she had been in contact with her ex. I asked which relationship was most important to her and she replied her current one. I heard some more details of what was going on and some history. And then Sam asks “Do you want to speak to him?” “Sure”. I always talk to each person separately to hear their side of the story. I am now talking to Nick. He is pretty pissed off and angry. And is telling me about the trust that has been broken. The times in the past, the lying, cheating. And how he just wants to end the relationship on good terms.
I ask Nick “Do you still love Sam?” “Yes, I will always love Sam, I just can’t be in a relationship with her.”
As I am listening I am reminded of what one mentor said to me a while ago. “Most of the time the feeling underneath Anger is Hurt”. Often the more angry someone is, the more hurt and pain they are likely to be in. They can use anger as a way to protect themselves from being hurt again.
I remember back to a close friend whose wife cheated on him. When he found out he was so angry and upset he moved straight out of the family home. Trust in the relationship was his highest value. His previous wife and another partner had cheated on him, and this brought all the hurt and pain back. It is his wife who calls me and asks me to talk to him. He does not answer his phone so I text. I get no response. So I text back. “If I don’t hear back from you I will come over.” I do not get a reply. I am in Perth and they are over the other side of the country in Melbourne. It is 7pm and the only flight that will get me there the quickest is via Brisbane. I pack a few things and head off the airport. 16 hours later, at about 11am on the Saturday morning I rock up. He is at work in his business, and is surprised to see me. We chat in between customers and he agrees to come home after work. We are able to work through a few things, and they get back together. He is still in a lot of pain, and struggles to get over the broken trust even though his wife wants to work at repairing the damage done.
We have many conversations after this and it is clear that he is hanging onto the pain, the anger, and the broken trust. He is always looking for his wife to ‘slip up’. Always reading more into things that are not there. Eventually the marriage ends. My friend is just not able to let go or resolve the issues from the past.
Back to Sam and Nick…
We talk and I ask “What they are doing tomorrow?” “Nothing”. I suggest that they come to the workshop and explain why. First I will be going through my Relationship Road Map so that they can learn to look at relationships differently. Secondly we will be working on communication skills and Third I also offer to spend some time with them on their own after the workshop.
I could hear two people in a relationship in pain. Remember I had asked Sam which relationship was more important and she said her current one wit Nick. I asked Nick if he still loved Sam and he said yes.
So here we have two people who love each other, in a relationship for one year, have had some issues pop up around trust and now both in pain. One in so much pain that he is calling off the relationship.
I have seen this play out many times, and feel both frustrated and sad when people do not resolve these trust issues. For me, resolution can take time, it’s not just forgive and forget. When there is deep pain, and hurt it will take time. I believe that to cover it over and bury it will just cause problems in the future. Unless pain and hurt from the past is resolved it will be carried into the next relationship.
For me it is more useful to believe that people do not initially intend to cause another so much pain. However, as a saying I came across goes. “Hurt People, Hurt People”.
Sometimes people who are hurt and in pain, want the other person to feel the pain and suffering they are in. This is simply a form of punishment. If their partner has cheated on them, some go and cheat as well and rub it in their partners face. People find the buttons to push, continually bring up the past, and dozens of other strategies to inflict emotional pain.
In my experience this is not a Win – Win situation. It only creates more pain and suffering. If I use a physical example. It is like having a sharp knife. I want to remind myself of pain so I cut myself. Now I want to punish the other person, so I cut them. And cut them again just to make sure they feel the pain I am in.
I am sure to the average person this seems silly. Yet this is what people are doing with emotional and mental pain and suffering. Only you can not see any physical evidence.
Now when kids are involved, what are the kids being taught………
In my workshops and when working with people, I am looking to break these cycles. There are a couple of common themes. The first is that people often live in the past. This is quite natural and we are wired to avoid pain. For some reason, one of the ways people think to potentially avoid pain is to continually remind our self of the pain.
The second is not being clear on what people want their future to look like. Especially if they are in pain. When I ask “What do you want?” I often hear what people don’t want, the pain, circumstances, the personality they don’t want. So where is their attention? Still on the pain and the people that they believe caused them pain.
In a previous blog “The Dark Side of Relationships”, I gave a technique to help process and resolve this and other issues of the past so you can focus on creating the future you are entitled to. Provided you actually follow the basic rules you will get results.
There have been some further refinements to the rules and this process so feel free to contact me for these updates.
It is still only a few days since the workshop. Sam and Nick are still talking, it appears at this stage they have taken on board stuff from the workshop and the coaching. They need support as it is easy to drop back into unconscious habits and patterns.
So if you’ve got any questions regarding this blog or any aspect of your relationship, why not take advantage of the complimentary 30-minute session I offer. Contact Me to see how I can help you have more healthier and happier relationships. Until next time.
Keith Flynn BSc, Dip. Hyp.