Happy relationships are sustained by several essential qualities, including patience, forgiveness, and acceptance. Yet, these things are typically glossed over, and instead, the focus is placed instead on finding Mr. or Ms. Right. Our cultural messages emphasize finding Mr. or Ms. Right as the key to everlasting love and conceal the fact that relationships take work. We erroneously believe that the right partner will make us happy, and we’ll live “happily ever after.” So, when your relationship gets complicated, does that mean you’ve picked the wrong partner? Or is there something else at play?
Two Important Elements of Healthy Relationships
First, your partner needs to be themselves in a relationship. Sometimes, in being true to themselves, they won’t live up to your expectations. It doesn’t mean they love you any less. It means they need time apart from you on occasion or are not equipped to be as emotionally available as you would like them to be when you need to process your feelings. You’ll be disappointed in your partner sometimes, and it’s normal and part of every committed relationship.
Second, you are responsible for your happiness. It’s not your partner’s job to make you happy. No one will always make you happy. Your partner can do things that please you, but they can’t imbue you with happiness. Taking personal responsibility for your happiness means not blaming your significant other when you’re unhappy. Moreover, it means finding ways to make yourself happy when your partner isn’t available.
So, you may be thinking, what does this have to do with my inner child? The answer is that when your inner child is happy, you are happy and feel less dependence on your partner to make you happy.
The Origin of Your Inner Child
Most people find it challenging to take responsibility for their happiness, and it’s easy to see why. As a baby, you depended on your parents for your survival. They were responsible for caring for you physically and emotionally. If you received consistent care, you could rely on them and be happy.
However, if you were left crying in your crib for hours or never knew how they would react to you, you didn’t get consistent nurturing. Sometimes you got attention, and sometimes you didn’t. You were too young to understand how to make yourself happy when they didn’t respond. With your little kid’s mind, you reasoned that something was wrong with you that prevented your parents from wanting to be with you. It’s your inner child that isn’t happy and needs you to care for him or her. When you don’t, you bring a sense of inadequacy into adulthood, which plays out in relationships.
The Influence of Your Inner Child
We physically mature over the years, but the part of us who longs for approval gets pushed down into our subconscious, and we try to make ourselves happy with external things. We may have a remarkable career, a good social life, and be in great shape, but we think something is missing. In our misguided attempt to be happy, we assume that Mr. or Ms. Right will do that for us. Instead, we must go within ourselves to discover how to make ourselves happy.
We all have a child-like part in us. It’s like a sub-personality. Carl Jung described it as the “inner child,” created by the beliefs we formed before puberty. If we didn’t get consistent love and attention from our parents, our inner child still longs for those things. The child within wants us to acknowledge them and give them attention. If you’ve ever wondered why you pick partners who resemble traits of your parents, it’s because unconsciously, no matter how old you are, you still want your parent’s approval. In fact, most of our mate selection is an attempt to get the validation we longed for as children.
The Healing Power of Relationships
Relationships involve more than finding the right partner for you. A relationship helps you transform beliefs you have about yourself from childhood. You have an opportunity to get in touch with your inner child and learn how to love yourself deeply, which enables you to love your partner deeply. When you pay attention to that little child, you become more emotionally intimate with yourself and more authentic with your partner, creating a deeper loving connection with them.
Elizabeth combines ancient wisdom, modern practices, and personal experience to help people build loving relationships. If you’d like to get in touch with your inner child, change your relationship, and find your “happily-ever-after,” she can help. Elizabeth holds a Liberal Arts Degree from St. Edward’s University in Austin, TX; she is a Certified Dating, Relationship, and Life Coach, Certified Feng Shui Consultant and an IFS-informed therapist. You can contact Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text her at (512) 922-4822.
Article by Elizabeth Golembiewski
Elizabeth Golembiewski is a Certified Dating, Relationship, and Spiritual Life Coach in Austin, TX specializing in codependency. Elizabeth helps people gain deep insight into the cause of their difficulties and then guides them to heal the emotional wounds and thought processes that keep them stuck. Her past struggles with dating, relationships, and codependency serve as a powerful source for the work she does with clients. She has over ten years of successfully coaching singles and couples, facilitating singles groups, and holding workshops. Her expertise has been sought out by local and national media. She welcomes your connection!
Learn more about Elizabeth’s work at https://www.buildlovingrelationships.com.