Solving Relationship Crisis by understanding the Group Mind
Why does a loving relationship become a nightmare?
Research shows that the divorce rate with couples is increasing as well as speeding up. That means that partners now decide more often than a few years ago that they want to end the union. It also means that couples much earlier than years ago decide to call it quits. This happen sometimes right after the birth of the first child even.
Why is this happening? Are people inclined to make unfounded decisions? Are they more fickle? Do they have higher demands? Is love easier to get without all the hassle?
All of these factors, and more are certainly partially responsible for this trend. But this is not the complete answer.
Family Systems do not tell the whole story
It is well known that your own family background plays a big role in how you ‘do’ your relationship. Virgina Satir’s Family Systems therapy, for example, made very clear how all the parts of a family system influence your own choices in relationships. The Family Constellation work of Bert Hellinger also does an excellent job on uncovering hidden dynamics in the family system of your origin.
I have worked with both systems and find them both fascinating and sometimes life changing. I say sometimes, because although they can uncover hidden dynamics and at times facilitate profound change, this does not happen in many other instances.
From love to crisis
Things often start very small. One person wants the music loud, the other is afraid the neighbors will be bothered. A valid thing you might think. And on the surface not a big deal. But the problem arises when we explore what this means to both partners.
For the partner that likes the music loud it could mean that he wants to celebrate. Get into the mood, let go in the moment, feel free, feel connected. For the partner that is afraid the music is bothering the neighbor’s. Loud music might mean disharmony with neighbors. Guilt or shame if you do something out of order, being seen as inconsiderate and unfriendly and so on.
Both of the meaning perspectives are both true and by themselves valid. But combined they can create a poisonous connection. Because when this happens often the partners make a ‘jump’ in meaning. The partner playing the loud music can feel that his partner is not in the moment with him. Feeling alone, abandoned even, not recognised. The other partner could feel he is rude, selfish, inconsiderate.
Both of these jumps in meaning can become very problematic between the partners.
Your past determines your relationship today
Why is it that they both make these ‘jumps’ in meaning? What stops them from listening to each other and what they both desire? Their family system!
It is their family system that creates this mess. But not like Satir or Hellinger proclaim.
We unconsciously learn what a relationship is…
Our ideas about relationships are formed throughout our upbringing and experiences with partners. All the experiences that we encountered throughout our lives in relation to relationships form the meaning a relationship has for us. The problem is, these templates of ‘what a relationship is’ for us are ingrained in our unconscious.
The unconscious collective of memories shapes the basis of our current emotions about the behavior of our partner. Our brain is locked up in a black box and it is collecting information from our senses. Our brain cannot check the information because it is locked in a black box. The only thing it can do is connect the incoming information to unconscious templates that form the building blocks of our emotions.
Your past is making the predictions
Once the incoming information is connected to our ‘relationship’ template our brain will start to make predictions about what is going to happen. In the example of ‘the loud music’ and ‘the worry about the neighbors’ the unconscious predictions could be something like: ‘O there she goes again, only interested in others and not in me’ and ‘o there he goes again only interested in himself and not in what I or others find important’.
You both create a collective mind
Now you must realize that these predictions are operating unconsciously for both partners. But what they feel is something like rejection. It is also important to realize that for our brain the prediction is true. This means that your brain will respond to this prediction ‘as if it were true’. And so two partners create a group mind. A collective of thoughts and feelings that perfectly interconnect in the most dramatic way.
And this group mind consists of some very specific material. It is the collective mind that consist of the worst of both family systems of origin. Both partners must have some unconscious template where they felt rejected themselves. Or learned that in intimate relationship you will be rejected from how their parents organized their relationship. Whatever the exact cause, it is the ‘relationship concept’ that both partners carry with them that, they predict will be present, within their current relationship. And of course, it will. Because for our brains, what we predict is true.
Solving relationship crisis
This starts by recognizing that your partner is not the problem. Your partner triggers your own unique concept of what a relationship is. Even, how it should be and what will happen to it. Your partners in a sense has nothing to do with it. It is you that is predicting what you have learned. The big problem? Both partners start doing this and both partners are not responding to ‘what actually is happening’. They are responding to what they are predicting. Begin solving relationship crisis by understanding the Group Mind!
Start solving your relationship problems by asking yourself: ‘What am I predicting?’
Once you both start to turn that into a habit, you’ll have a change of making it work. This time on your own terms! Go to Relation Emotion Therapy and Coaching for the English page about this subject.
Through circumstance solving relationship issues has become part of my mission. It is my believe that this is a crucial element for partners to have a real chance of staying together. Solving the troubling emotions that get into the way of connecting. It is my experience that relationship trouble has deep impact on our personal lives. I am looking for ways to teach and share my knowledge about this important topic. Based on very new neuro-scientific research I developed new material that is proven to be effective.