In a relationship. Rules for cohabitation


No matter how we strive for individualism, man is a socially dependent being. Initially, the personality is formed in the family. Then he develops and studies in wider groups of society - school, kindergarten. We are accustomed to consider those related to the body as vital needs (food, safety).

But the need for a relationship is no less necessary. We learn the “rules” of relationships since childhood, using the example of people close to us. Initially, such an experience is assimilated unconsciously. And closer to adolescence, we gradually draw conclusions about which patterns of behavior we like and which ones not.

A healthy relationship is not a given; it is the work on yourself of both partners. For it to be effective, you need to understand why we come into these relationships and what we bring to them.

Whatever altruists we may be, communicating with other people, we are not only looking for opportunities to give our resource to another person. But also a way to satisfy your needs. Unfortunately, we do not always recognize these needs. Therefore, to satisfy them is also not always obtained. Perhaps this is the root of many problems that arise in relationships.

Need for stroking

As soon as you enter into relationships with people consciously, the quality of these relationships will change significantly. In transactional analysis, one of the key concepts is stroking.

This word is called the unit of recognition, attention. Stroking is vital for everyone. After all, they indicate that a person exists. An example of stroking can be a simple look, gesture, greeting or reaction to another person.

The opposite of stroking is disregard. And this is a form of emotional abuse. Strokes can be positive (these are positive signs of attention that carry a positive emotional charge) and negative. It would be logical to assume that, coming into a relationship, we strive for positive strokes. But everything is much more complicated.

Recognition need

It is formed throughout life and is determined by the strokes that we received earlier. If a person received more positives, he will come to the relationship for them. And if violence prevailed and there were very few positive emotional experiences, accordingly, a person will not be able to request it.

As an example, women who have suffered from childhood violence. Most often, unknowingly build relationships with men prone to aggression. This is a form of stroking that is familiar to them and that they can easily recognize. In addition, they know exactly how to adapt to such strokes.

Thus, when we come into a relationship, first of all we want recognition. And the recognition that we get or don’t get in the end depends on our own mindfulness. FROMthe ability to determine the need for recognition and request appropriate strokes. Just understand what exactly you want from a partner in a relationship to get it. If there is a feeling of dissatisfaction, and there is no understanding of its cause, you run the risk of getting a lot of “wrong” strokes.

The result of this I constantly hear at the reception: “He does not pay attention to me”, “She doesn’t care how I feel.” Do you want attention? Understand in what form and offer your partner how he could give it to you. And do not forget to sincerely be interested in your partner, his needs and feelings. Do not forget that relationships are the responsibility of two.

Need for affection

Another major human need for a relationship is affiliation. In the best sense of the word. One way or another, it is very important for a person not just to be, but to be a part of something. For example, a family, people, team or group of friends. Otherwise, we are talking about isolation, which makes us unsuitable. Belonging can exist on two levels - mutual responsibility and interconnection.

The most emotionally colored level, and therefore more tangible, is attachment. Why is this so important? Attachment is trust, security and contact. A sense of security and such an important sensation as “I'm not alone” are formed in attachment. This feeling of the presence and sympathy of another person is the opposite of loneliness.

There is a very important psychological theory - Bowlby's theory of attachment. She explains how our early attachment to parents affects the mechanisms of forming relationships with people. Through attachment, ways of contact and the ability to be close are formed. We learn it from infancy, when we learn how to declare our needs in ways that are accessible to the infant. Depending on how the mother responds (timeliness, adequacy) to the needs of the baby, a certain type of attachment is formed.

Awareness and acceptance of one's natural need for attachment solves several problems at once:

  • The formation of proximity. Quality relationships are impossible without a sense of security in emotional and physical proximity. And this feeling is possible with internal permission to yourself to feel affection, reduce the distance;
  • Building trust. If we allow ourselves and our partner to form a healthy attachment (not co-dependence), we will organize a space for two and a space for each one individually. This is a zone of trust in relations;
  • Sense of security. Attachment builds trust and intimacy. And this in turn gives us a sense of security in contact with a person.

When we come into a relationship with a person, we expect him to bring us closer to these feelings. But if you yourself do not allow yourself to trust, to be close or to form a reliable healthy attachment - no one can give you this. It is good when we come into a relationship with conscious needs and are able to request their satisfaction from a partner, giving him something in return. But more often it is different.

How does childhood affect

A problem in relationships at various stages arises when we bring in them unconscious and unfulfilled needs from the past. The difference is that these are not the needs of today. Satisfy them should not those people who are near you now. And those from which you have not received satisfaction before.

The responsibility for our life and health lies with us. A sense of basic security, i.e. trust in the world and the ability to ask for help are formed not now and not by current circumstances. It is laid at a time when we are still independent and helpless. A sense of basic security is laid in us by parents.

If at that significant period the feeling of basic trust in the world was not laid, we go through life, looking around and not trusting the world, people and ourselves. We seemed to be stuck in childhood. We are afraid to take a step on our own and are looking for adult support. It is only natural that, being in the state of a small child, we are looking for someone who would give us a sense of security.

But this is a very bad motivation for building relationships. After all, not many people are ready to be your second parents. And they should not be. If you want to enter into a relationship in order to assign responsibility for important decisions concerning you to another person, you are not looking for a partner, but a mother or father. And the partner, most likely, will not want this responsibility, he will prefer to be on an equal footing with you.

What to do in this case?

First of all, it is necessary deal with your own priorities and needs. If you feel that you are looking for a parent in another person, you may need to sort yourself out first. You can analyze it yourself, but it is better to consult a specialist. With it, you can work out what are called child fixations - your unmet needs from your early life. Then you have a chance to build a healthy and full-fledged relationship in which you and your partner will be equal and happy at the same time. No one will feel hurt, and no one will take on unnecessary responsibility.

Reasons for unhealthy relationships

Duplication of parent-child relationships in married life - A very common cause of divorces. Usually men say that a woman takes a children's position and refuses to take the slightest responsibility for relationships or living together. It also happens to women when they feel like a mother to their husbands. At some point, both of them may get bored, because the need for a relationship between a man and a woman lies in another.

The transfer of parent-child relationship models in the life of a couple often affects sexual relationships. Often, sexual desire disappears, or it does not occur initially. And psychosomatically, this can be reflected in psychogenic infertility.

Another not the best motivation for building relationships is desire to separate from parents, leave the family. Separation from parents does not imply mandatory physical care. First of all, this is a decrease in the importance of attachment and the formation of psychological autonomy. Whatever the distance between you and the parental family, psychologically until you grow up to be able to give yourself care, acceptance and recognition on your own - you will not get independence and freedom. The voices of parents and their attitudes will sound in your head every time you decide to make an independent decision. This is sometimes useful. But for the most part, this introduces confusion and doubt into your decisions. And the person to whom you run away will sooner or later begin to fulfill the parental function. The reason for this is again the children's position of vulnerability, in which a part of your psyche is fixed.

If being in a parental family brings discomfort and makes you want to escape to marriage, this suggests that there is unhealthy affection symbiosis or co-dependence. This state of affairs is normal in adolescence. But if you are already under 30, and you still do not feel the strength to separate yourself, think about how much you really want to get this freedom. Most likely, emotionally you are not quite ready for separation and do not have enough confidence in your abilities. This may also indicate that there is a fixation in some early period, where you were not given the right to make an independent decision in an important period for you. Returning to your current age, psychological maturity and your right to autonomy will solve this problem.

You, like your partner, have the right to fulfill the role of a partner in the relationship, and not the parents or the child. The other person has the same right to personal space as you. Even if you have early fixations, this does not mean that you do not have an adult part of the person who needs normal, healthy relationships. Listen to this part if you want to build harmonious relations, and it is better to understand the consequences of early experience in the psychologist’s office.

/ The article was written for the publication “Mirror of the Week”, the original is here: /

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