I can clearly see how this played out in my own marriage for many years.
Yet, until recently, I’m not sure I truly understood the concept. I mean, what does this actually even mean, really?
But the more I do this work in my own life and with my clients, the more I see the truth of it.
The Big U has an uncanny knack of matching us up with those who will mirror back to us our most deeply held beliefs about ourselves, both positive and negative.
What Our Relationships Reflect
Our relationships will reflect back either the areas we need to heal within ourselves or the self-love we’ve created.
I truly believe our relationships, particularly our marital relationships, are our greatest teachers – they simply magnify whatever is going on within us.
What it means is this: When a situation with our husband triggers us and we feel angry/sad/disappointed/belittled/let down/pissed off/resentful, etc. It’s not really the situation that is causing our emotional pain.
It’s an unhealed wound from our past.
One of my recent clients, Mary (not her real name,) often felt belittled and made to feel inferior by her husband. When he made a belittling remark, she felt stupid, unheard, like she wasn’t good enough, that her feelings didn’t matter and that her needs were less important than everyone else’s.
In other words, her husband’s behaviour triggered all of the limiting beliefs she held about herself. If Mary hadn’t held those beliefs, she would have seen that her husband’s behaviour was nothing to do with her and completely about him (and likely she wouldn’t have attracted him in the first place.)
She wouldn’t have been emotionally triggered. Instead, she would have communicated how she felt, made requests and created healthy boundaries for her relationship so that she wasn’t tolerating behaviour she found unacceptable.
Loving Yourself First
Ultimately, in Mary’s case, she would have given herself permission to leave a marriage she hadn’t been happy in for years. She would have placed value on herself and her own happiness and acted in alignment with her true desires. She would have made the choice to live true to herself, without apology.
Through our work together, Mary saw how her marriage was simply reflecting back her own wounds and showing her where her real work lay. Mary’s work was in identifying and recognising her limiting beliefs for what they were – false thoughts she had adopted a long time ago that had become default thinking and behaviour patterns.
Mary’s relationship simply held up a mirror to show her the false belief system upon which she had built her identity and subsequently her marriage.
The marriage was both her teacher and the catalyst for healing herself.
In recognising this truth, my client didn’t need to blame her husband for his ‘bad’ behaviour. She didn’t need to be a victim of her marriage. And she didn’t need to use his behaviour to ‘justify’ her decision to leave.
Mary made her decision to leave from a place of self-responsibility and a place of love, both for herself and her husband.
As a result of all the inner healing work she has undertaken, Mary will attract a much different ‘mirror’ in her future relationships.
She will be much more likely to attract a partner who reflects back to her the self-love she has created.
She will attract a healthy relationship – because she has a healthy relationship with herself.
So, how can you apply all of this to your own personal situation in your marriage? Here are two steps you can begin to reflect on and work through now:
1) Look in the Mirror
What negative traits do you dislike about your husband and his behaviour? Make a list of 10 and then identify your top three (you can do the same for his positive qualities – you also share those!)
Ask yourself: How are you like him? How do you also share those same negative qualities?
Note: The quality most likely will not show up in the same way within you as it does your husband, you may have to dig deep – but it’s there! For example, if your husband gives you cause to distrust him, perhaps there is an area of your life where you are not trusting yourself?
Next Step: Can you find compassion for the part of you that shares these traits? And can you find that same compassion for your husband?
2) Identify the Trigger
What false thoughts and limiting beliefs about yourself is your husband’s behaviour triggering in you?
What are you making his behaviour mean about you as a person?
What behaviours are you accepting and tolerating because you aren’t valuing yourself and prioritising your own emotional wellbeing and happiness?
Next Step: Write down a list of the false beliefs that your husband’s behaviour is triggering in you. Choose one to work with. How is that belief serving you? Do you want to keep it? Make a list of 10 ways this belief is no longer true – disprove it. What do you want to believe instead? Make a list of 10 ways this new belief is already true.
Want Personalised Support?
If the above article resonates and you’d like professional, unbiased 1:1 support to work through all of this and much more, now would be a great time to get in touch about my Empowered Choices, Empowered Woman Programme.
If you feel like now is your time to do this important work for yourself, the first small step is to get in touch to arrange your confidential, 30 minute Mini Clarity Session. Contact me and we’ll get it scheduled.
If not now, when?
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