The other day I was thinking about how there were times when I had come across couples who appeared to be out of balance. When this was the case, it was as though it was more like a parent-child relationship and not an adult to adult relationship.
One of them was more like a parent to the other than someone who was in an intimate relationship with them. This would usually mean that one of them believed that it was their job to help or rescue the other and to teach them about more or less everything.
When it came to the other, they often acted as though they were incapable, needed to be rescued and didn’t know anything. Said another way, it was as though one person was strong and capable, while the other person wasn’t.
The ways that these people behaved were probably how they behaved during the beginning of their life. Behaving in these ways would have been what allowed them to receive approval, thereby allowing them to survive.
Playing these roles as a child would have caused them to disconnect from their true-self, which relates to their true feelings and needs. What this therefore means is that when one plays a role, it is not possible for them to experience true intimacy.
Their heart can be closed and shame can stop them from being able to reveal their true-self. Through behaving in this way, it won’t be possible for them to be fully present either; they will be too caught up in the roles that they played as a child.
Thus, even though it may seem as though two people like this are in a relationship, this is likely to be an illusion. Both of them are going to be emotionally unavailable and unable to truly commit to the other.
There is the chance that the part of them that wants resolve what took place during their early years is what has brought them together, along with this being what is familiar. The former is what can happen when two people become aware of what is taking place, but, when this doesn’t happen, it can just lead to more of what happened when they were younger.
So, if someone is in a relationship like this and they no longer wanted to play a role, they may end up experiencing pain in their face, chest and stomach area. In their chest they might experience a fear of being rejected and abandoned, and, in their face and stomach, they might experience shame.
They may end up experiencing discomfort in their lower body, and this could impact their whole body. This will relate to their survival, so this will be fear, anxiety and maybe even terror.
What this shows is that while playing a role in a relationship won’t allow someone to experience a deep connection, it can be more comfortable than having to face all the pain that might come up otherwise. The difference is that while working through this pain will be painful, it won’t last forever.
On the other hand, the pain that is experienced through playing a role can last forever. External help may be needed when it comes to experiencing life differently.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.