Mutuality and Projection

The early stages of love are mainly based on projected material; the ideal that we project onto the other of what we want in relationship.  We are really falling in love with ourselves.  After marriage, we take back our projection and then sometimes, love is there, often it is not.  The old adage of looking at the beloved through rose-colored glasses demonstrates this pattern.  This is the time in the relationship when one sees the best of who they are, in the other.  That creates a charge, which we experience as love.

The ritual of marriage signals that a change is afoot…a new creation is born.  And, true to creation after about 9 months, anxiety often arises within the marriage.  It is here, where expectations from our past, our family of origin, rears its head into our new relationship. So, it’s important in the beginning of relationship to pay attention, and get to know the real person behind those rose-colored glasses.  This is one of the main reasons why 50% of all marriages end in divorce and why, after a few years, we look at the other and say, “I didn’t know you did that…”

If on the other hand, we have had enough time and experience with our partner to know who they are, and we’ve had enough time to take back our projected material prior to marriage, and those childhood patterns that inform us, then we have a better chance of having a healthy relationship.  As children, we all learn how to live within our family unit and those are the models that we carry with us into our adult relationships.

Right at the beginning of relationship, it is important to acknowledge, recognize and understand our partner’s family patterns.  This gives one a greater insight into relationship—whether we like our families or not—they are familiar, and therefore we feel defined by them.  Even if we didn’t like some of the behavior in our family unit, we are doomed to repeat that behavior, unless we bring those patterns to consciousness.  As a result, by taking a good honest look at family patterns, one can create new models of behavior for a mutual relationship.  In a sense, we are deliberately creating a new family.