Tuesday, June 5, 2012

GUEST POST: When Conflict Brings You Together… And Then Drives You Apart

You initially bonded over a drink as you both shared similar tales about upbringings that could have mirrored one another’s. The abusive relationship with alcohol and drugs, the physical bruises that left far deeper emotional ones, the lack of communication within the family… these were things you both experienced and they bonded you together. You became inseparable because no one else could possibly understand what you had gone through. Until one day it all fell apart. The very glue that held you two together in the first place became a repellant, something you want nothing more than to leave behind forever, but their presence is a constant reminder…

This situation happens more often than you probably realize. Two people with common conflicts in their backgrounds meet and fall madly in love with one another, bonded by their mutual past troubles. This was true for one of my acquaintance and his wife. They both shared rough upbringings and came from broken families, and this shared past made them inseparable… for a while. 

This scenario is all too common for people coming from broken pasts. The troubles they face bind them in a way that true love, shared passions, and positive upbringings binds others, until one day the past troubles become a rock in your shoe. It’s annoying, but not entirely detrimental.

However that rock slowly morphs into a wedge that creates more conflict, and before you know it a full-blown wall between you and your professed lover. Such was true for my acquaintance. He and his wife followed a tumultuous course; one that almost exceeded his own troubled past, until they finally couldn’t stand to be around each other anymore. But why does this happen? How does something so binding become something so revolting?

One reason is that the constant reminder becomes unbearable. While you were initially able to share and empathize with one another over similar circumstances, when that becomes the defining point in your relationship the reminder of your past can become the only thing you’re able to see when you look at your partner. And that constant reminder can become unbearable to the point that it ruins the relationship. For my acquaintance, this meant turning to alcohol and drugs in an effort to blur reality and forget. It meant turning into himself and all the dark demons that had been following him.

Then there’s the point of needing to actually deal with the source of the problems. Being able to talk about something and share experiences with one another is not synonymous with actually confronting demons in your past and dealing with them. Sure you can talk through some of the basics of problems that are rooted in your past with someone who has been through a similar upbringing; however the basics are just that – they’re a superficial way of “dealing” with all of the negative emotions. 

What you really need is to talk to someone who is trained in helping individuals move past life events that have had a negative impact. At that point one or both of you should consider seeking professional help.

When you’re commiserating with someone over conflicted experiences you likely are only able to add your own two cents about a similar event. This rallying of negative emotions only adds fuel to the fire, and instead of diminishing the negativity it helps it flourish. For my acquaintance this meant that they went through harsh benders on drugs and alcohol together, pooling their shared miseries and fighting as they regained soberness. It was a never-ending cycle of bad happening upon worse, until they finally came up for air and found the strength to separate from one another. 

Neither is perfect now, but both are at least pursuing a future that doesn’t include rebounding negativity off of one another.

Dating someone who has a similar conflicted upbringing as you can be a breath of fresh air at first. However if left untreated, it can become stale, or worse, drive the two of you farther into a pit of despair, leaving your relationship stagnant instead of thriving.

Elizabeth’s Bio:
Liz just a simple lady tries to convey some of what it is like to date online through dating websites. For any further information on online dating you can email her at: liznelson17 “@ “

1 comment:

  1. I recommend Dr. Harville Hendrix's book "Getting the Love You Want." I think his theory about relationships could explain the phenomenon you describe.