Right now a very painful and dysfunctional relationship dynamic is being played out on live TV for the world to see. As you watch the story unfold you might find yourself identifying more with the pain of one side or the other, cause these dynamics live within us all.
What we're being shown here is what happens when individual relationship trauma fits so perfectly together that it creates a mutual vortex, so powerful it is extremely hard to get out of. I know, because I've been in more than one - and I'm sure I'm not the only one...
Another word for this is trauma bonding. This is when the trauma patterns of one partner amplifies the trauma patterns of the other, back and forth in endless cycles of hurt and “passion”.
Sure that might be true for them you might think, but I would never end up in a crazy relationship like that! I would notice for sure and end the relationship, or even better never start one.
The thing is though that most of us relate like this to a certain degree. Even if it's not as extreme as certain celebrities, we do relate a lot from our own relationship trauma. One example is how we always seem to attract our opposite, so that we can play out the patterns we know so well with each other. We relate the way we learnt how to in our childhood or previous relationships, from the strategies we developed to cope when our needs where not met. The avoidant dances with the anxious, the savior finds its victim, and so on.
The cycles continue as long as both parties suppress their own needs, until someone says stop. Most of the time this is when relationships come to an end, as these are the two options we know of in our relational culture: stay and suppress your needs or leave and try to find someone else to fulfill them.
What if there is a third option? What if we can become aware of these dynamics that run the show and meet them together with compassion and awareness?
What if we can create enough safety in our bodies and nervous systems to be with the uncomfortable and painful until it alchemizes into deeper connection and healing?