Carrying on with our theme of losing that loving feeling and wondering should I stay or should I go and feeling like I can’t carry on with this. Basically what I want to talk about in this video is why it’s important to keep your vow to cherish.
People make a vow when they get married to love and to cherish and usually they do the best they can, they love each other but love is a feeling and you can’t make yourself feel the feeling of love – it’s just there.
But I’ve talked to you in other videos about how as time goes on, we get caught up in the process of life, how people like a frog boiling in a pan of water, they don’t realise and the marriage is gradually dying and they don’t even notice it’s dying. But the good news is that it can be turned around but by then the feeling of the disconnection and the distance is so much people feel like they can’t get it back again.
Well you can, but what you need to do is to create the conditions to reconnect with each other and having done that all the hurt and sad and fearful and anxious and lonely feelings that covered over the love begin to surface again. But to keep that process going and to move you on to a whole new level, you need to look at cherishing. Now it’s not just a word and it’s not just a word that gets stuck into the marriage ceremony and that you’re about to cherish, and most people don’t even think about it or what it means.
Bonding and Attachment Needs
Actually it’s really, really important and it’s important for a number of different reasons and I’ve touched on this in other videos that for most of us the child rearing practices that were around when we were young and more recently with better child rearing practices, most of us don’t have our needs for bonding and our attachment needs. We mostly don’t get them optimally and I’m not blaming parents here, but I’m just going to touch on a number of reasons why our bonding needs and our attachment needs don’t get met when we’re children.
Now, for example, I’m an adopted person. Most people who are adopted will have been removed from the mothers at some stage, now that is a big tear in that bond and that leaves its mark on how you roll out in life and your relationships. Sometimes babies being born it’s a difficult birth, it’s a long drawn out labour, forceps may have needed to have been used, the child may have needed to go into a special care baby unit or incubator for a while, that is a big deal to a new born baby. It’s like the mother has abandoned it and so there’s an imprint of being abandoned there, so that’s around the birth process.
Post Natal Depression
You may have the most wonderful loving, caring mother but if she suffered from post natal depression, it’s not her fault, but she wouldn’t have been able to be totally present for you. I see some people and their mothers died when they were quite young or in childhood and of course the loss of a mother through adoption or death or post natal depression or whatever, some children are put into the care system because for various reasons their mother couldn’t take care of them, so that absence of mothering at that young age has a huge effect on the child’s attachment and that rolls out into adulthood.
Then some children are sent to boarding school. Now often parents who send their children to boarding school really believe that they’re giving them a good chance in the world and their education, but actually all of these scenarios that I’m highlighting to you are all scenarios where there is a loss of emotional nurture and certainly children in boarding school are not emotionally nurtured and in fact they’re emotionally neglected. Their educational needs are seen to and all their physical needs are seen to but emotionally they learnt to keep everything to themselves and they learnt to survive by keeping their emotions suppressed.
Other situations that have a bearing on not having your emotional needs met as a child may be if you had a brother or a sister who was born soon after you, in other words within a year to two years after you, then you’re still young, you’re at that stage where you need a lot of emotional input but your parents may be busy seeing to new siblings particularly if the new siblings happen to be twins or if the new sibling has some special needs or has some illness and has to have extra attention.
Sometimes if a grandparent comes to live with you and that grandparent needs a lot of time and attention, the children perhaps don’t get the same input. Where there are lots of children in the family, where there’s a big family, there is actually less to go round. Now a mother might love them all but physically and emotionally she is not able to take care of all the physical needs, the washing, ironing, cooking, cleaning, bed changing, and actually sit down and make each child feel absolutely special and to give them the time and the attention that they often really need. I’m not saying people can’t grow up quite happily, I’m simply saying there are deficits and it’s not anybody’s fault. If there is an alcoholic parent whether it’s an alcoholic mother or an alcoholic father, the parent relationship is skewed by the preoccupation with that partner’s alcohol issues.
So there’s all of these and lots more that many of you will have been in one of those categories. So even though your parent’s intention was to give you the best that they could and even though they did love you, just because of their situation and their circumstances you may not have been able to receive all the nurture and the care and the cherishing that you need and this is why in the marriage relationship or a long term committed relationship it’s important to cherish each other because when you do, it kind of is a re-parenting and it actually fills the developmental gaps that our early experience left with us because optimally and developmentally if our emotional needs were met, we would present in the world with much more confidence and we wouldn’t feel so defensive and so lacking in self esteem and self worth.
Benefits of Cherishing
So the benefits of cherishing each other are that you feel safe to be open, cherishing each other and taking the time and attention and doing that consciously means you talk to each other about those early wounds and hurts. I’m not talking about having a pity party here, I’m talking about allowing yourself to be known and actually allowing your partner to be known and both of you being known in that way creates emotional intimacy. In terms of your authenticity, you are able to drop your mask and be who you are, warts and all, without any shame or blame.
Bye for now.