Harville Hendrix the architect of Imago Relationship Therapy is the author of the above book. It has become a seminal study in the delivery of couples and marriage counselling. His study is informed by years of both personal and professional experience and the concepts throughout are user friendly and familiar.
Getting The Love You Want Summary and Review by Harville Hendrix
The “honeymoon period,” or the first steps of a new relationship, is a period of excitement and bliss. You might experience a tingling sensation all over with your first kiss or feel as if you have butterflies in your stomach when your new lover holds you.
But this honeymoon period seldom lasts long. If you’re lucky, it may span a few years or sadly, come to an end after just a few months.
When a relationship loses its initial spark, couples often experience their first conflicts. Previously unnoticed traits of a partner are now hard to ignore; long-known and once-loved habits become annoying. An emotional gap opens up between partners and deepens with each passing day.
How can you preserve your love and save a relationship that is at risk of falling apart? This book’s summary will explain how you can use Freudian ideas of psychoanalysis to maintain a healthy, loving and long-term relationship.
In this summary, you’ll also learn
• what your partner has in common with your parents;
• how your partner can become your enemy; and
• why you really should give your partner gifts now and then. Getting The Love You Want Key Idea #1:
• Your choice of life partner is influenced by your childhood experiences of both positive and negative realities.
They say that people often end up with partners who are similar to their parents. Most of us, however, would vehemently deny this when it comes to our own relationships.
Yet this is what happens! Unconsciously, we’re all trying to recreate our childhood environment. Nowhere is this more evident than at the beginning of a relationship.
In these early days, people tend to treat each other like babies, admiring how soft a partner’s skin is or how cute a partner’s ears are. Think about the names lovers call each other: kitten, baby, teddy bear. All these items are related to things from childhood.
Sigmund Freud, the founder of psychoanalysis, went even further. He said that even as adults, we’re just crying babies pining after parental love.
So why do we choose partners according to the needs of our “inner child?” From a young age, we construct an image in our head of an ideal caregiver, known as an Imago figure.
The ideal caregiver often resembles our parents and meets our every need. And because we are unconsciously seeking a person who reminds us of that caregiver, the Imago figure influences us when we are selecting a partner.
However, there’s another desire that affects our choice of partner.
We are also attracted to opposites, because in doing so, we work to regain traits that we lost when we entered adulthood.
We all know couples who seemingly couldn’t be more different. One is loud, the other is quiet. One is hyper-organized while the other couldn’t be more scatter-brained.
The reason that such relationships work is that each partner longs for a sense of wholeness. As your personality develops and you leave your childhood behind, you also lose that sense of completeness.
The way to get it back is to have an “opposite” in your life. We have an unconscious desire to return to the emotional scene of our original wound and conflict with your partner in the here and now is the stage for such a return.
Check back in later for a more thorough explication of this breakthrough!