Relationships: Can Relationships Take On A Symbolic Meaning If Someone Experienced Early Deprivation?
If someone was to look back on the relationships that they have been in, they could experience a fair amount of anger and frustration. As opposed to this being a time when they will feel good, then, it will be a time when they feel bad.
Then again, they might be able to remember some good moments but these moments could be overshadowed by the moments that were not good. Either way, they might not have the desire to start another relationship.
However, after a while, they could end up meeting someone they are drawn to and start another relationship. It could be said that this won’t be much of a surprise if this does happen as their need to connect with another human being is not going to disappear.
Assuming that this was to take place, part of them could question if the relationship will be any different, while another part of them could believe that it will be. So, they can start off with high hopes and have experiences that prove it is different.
A Gradual Change
As time passes, though, they can start to feel frustrated and angry. Once again, they can feel let down and it can be as if they are not being allowed to have what it is that they desire.
Now, this could show that they are with someone who is abusive but it might not be this black and white. They could, for example, be with someone who is emotionally unavailable and is not there for them.
Alternatively, they could be with someone who is emotionally available and is very loving. This person is then going to give them a lot, yet, no matter what they give them, it won’t be enough.
Even so, they could still believe that there is something missing and that the person they are with is not right for them. This can be a time when they will compare their relationship with other relationships, believing that their relationship is not as good.
The Next Stage
If they were to end the relationship, what takes place after can all depend on what the relationship was actually like. If they were with someone who was abusive or who wasn’t right for them, they can conclude that this area of their life will be different if they find the right person.
However, if they were with someone who was emotionally available and loving and ticked most if not all of their boxes, they could end up being confused. At the same time, they could disregard what was good about them and focus on what wasn’t.
If they have been with a number of people who were a good match and they were still dissatisfied and they were to reflect on this area of their life, they could wonder what is going on. What might enter their mind is that they expect too much as no one is ever enough for them.
The reason that it doesn’t matter what someone is like or what they do for them could be because they are not just trying to meet their adult needs; they are also trying to meet their unmet developmental needs. Therefore, there will be what they expect at a conscious level and what they expect at an unconscious level.
A Deeper Meaning
When they meet another person, then, a big part of them is going to believe that they will finally receive what they missed out on as a child and before. Ergo, they won’t just see them as a human being, they will represent so much more.
Naturally, as another person will simply be an imperfect human being, not a god who can give them anything that they desire, they are going to be let down. Ultimately, it won’t matter what this person is like or what they do as it won’t be enough.
Back In Time
As they are unconsciously trying to meet their unmet developmental needs, it can show that they were deeply deprived during their formative years. This may have been a stage of their life when one or both of their parents were emotionally unavailable and unable to provide them with the love that they needed.
If this was the case, it would have been normal for them to not be seen or heard, to be rejected and abandoned. This would have deeply wounded and a number of their needs and the pain that they experienced would have been repressed by their brain.
But, although these developmental needs will be repressed, they will continue to have an impact on their life. For one thing, they will cause them to project the parent or parents that they wanted onto another person and to try to make this person give them what they missed out on all those years ago.
When it becomes clear that this isn’t going to happen, they are likely to respond in a way that is very similar to how they responded all those years ago. This would have been a time when they not only felt helpless and hopeless but they were helpless and hopeless.
A Time of Healing
For them to no longer expect another person to provide them with what can’t be provided and to accept what they can, they are likely to have pain to face and work through and unmet developmental needs to experience. This is something that will take courage and patience and persistence.
If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.
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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.