I have long subscribed to the train of thought that says our relationships are a mirror of the relationship we have with ourselves.
I can clearly see how this played out in my own marriage for many years.
Yet, I get that it can be a tricky concept to get your head around. You may be thinking, what does it 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 close and intimate relationships reflect back either the areas we need to heal within ourselves, or the self-love we’ve created.
Our relationships, particularly our marital relationships, can be our greatest teachers – they simply magnify whatever is going on within us.
What it means is this:
When a situation with our husbands emotionally triggers us and we feel angry/sad/disappointed/ hurt/let down/pissed off/resentful, etc. by what he said or how he behaved.
It’s not really the situation itself that is causing our emotional pain (though it certainly feels like it in the moment.)
It’s an unhealed wound from our past.
One of my clients, a lovely lady I’ll call Mary (not her real name,) often felt belittled and made to feel inferior by her husband. Whenever he made what she perceived as a belittling remark, she felt stupid, unheard, like she wasn’t good enough, that her feelings didn’t count and that her needs were less important than everyone else’s.
The truth was, her husband’s attitude and behaviour towards her was triggering all of the old conditioning and false beliefs Mary held about herself.
If she hadn’t held those beliefs, she would have recognised that her husband’s behaviour was nothing to do with her and everything to do with him (and likely she wouldn’t have have been an energetic match for him in the first place.)
She wouldn’t have been so emotionally triggered and wounded by his words and deeds.
Instead, she would have communicated how she felt, made clear requests of him and created healthy boundaries in her relationship so that she wasn’t tolerating behaviour she found unacceptable.
I read a quote recently that sums this up:
“An unhealed person can find offence in pretty much anything someone does.
A healed person understands that the actions of others have absolutely nothing to do with them.”
Loving Yourself First
Through our process together, Mary saw how her marriage was simply reflecting back her own wounds and showing her where her real healing work lay.
Mary’s work was in identifying and recognising her outdated beliefs for what they were – false thoughts she’d adopted a long time ago that had become her default thinking and behaviour patterns.
And then making the choice to release those old beliefs.
Mary’s relationship simply held up a mirror to show her the false belief system upon which she’d built her identity, and subsequently her relationship with her husband.
Her marriage was both Mary’s teacher and the catalyst for healing herself.
As she recognised this truth, my client realised she 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 her husband’s behaviour to ‘justify’ her ultimate decision to leave.
Instead, after doing the work to heal her internal wounds, Mary gave herself permission to leave a marriage she hadn’t been happy in for years.
She learned to place value on herself and her own happiness, and acted in alignment with her true desires.
Mary made her decision to leave from a place of self-responsibility and a place of love, both for herself and her husband.
She owned her decision and made no apologies for it.
As a result of the inner healing work she’s undertaken and will continue with, Mary will attract a much different ‘mirror’ in her future relationships.
When she’s ready, and if it’s what she desires, she will be much more likely to attract a partner who reflects back to her the self-love she’s created.
Mary will attract somebody with whom she can create a healthy relationship – because she has a healthy relationship with herself.
So, how does all of this relate to you? How can you apply this concept to your own personal situation in your marriage?
Here are two steps to get you started that you can work through right now:
1) Look at your Husband, then Look in the Mirror
What negative traits do you dislike about your husband and his behaviour? Make a list of 5-10 and then identify your top three (you can do the same for his positive qualities – you also share those!)
Then ask yourself: How are you like him? How do you also share those same negative qualities?
Hint: 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, is there an area of your life where you’re 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, then Heal It
What false thoughts and beliefs about yourself is your husband’s behaviour triggering in you?
What meaning are you attributing to his behaviour towards you – what do you believe it says about you as a person?
For example: I’m not good enough, I’m not loveable, I’m stupid, etc.
What behaviours are you accepting and tolerating because you aren’t valuing yourself and treating yourself as your most precious resource, and prioritising your own happiness and emotional wellbeing?
Next Step: Write down a list of the false beliefs your husband’s behaviour is triggering in you. Now choose one to work with.
How is that belief serving you? Are you ready to let it go? Make a list of 10 ways this belief is untrue (because it is!) – actively disprove it.
What do you want to believe instead? Write down your new belief and then make a list of 10 ways this new statement is already true – look for the evidence and you will find it!
Over to You!
What are your thoughts about this article? Do you agree that your husband’s negative behaviour is a trigger for your own wounds? If so, are you willing to do your own inner work to heal them?
Is Now Your Time to do this Important Healing Work for Yourself?
If this article resonates and you’re ready for some professional, unbiased 1:1 support to get to the root of what’s holding you back in your life and marriage, that is precisely the work I do in my three month 1:1 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 a confidential, 30 minute Mini Clarity Session. We’ll talk through your situation and decide together if my approach is right for you.
Get in touch to schedule your Clarity Session in the next ten days.
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