We bring a lot more into our relationship than we are aware. We are unique human beings with a unique set of history, parenting, socialization, wounding, and experiences. As we develop and journey in our lifetime, our uniqueness plays a role in all we do including how we relate to our partner.

One of the characteristics that make us unique is our sense of our self. According to Harville Hendrix, author of Getting The Love You Want, our True Self, our original whole being we were born with, has been compromised over time just by the mere fact that we live in an imperfect world.

The caretaking and socialization we received wounded us as we were given direct or indirect messages about parts of us not being acceptable. In response to these messages we repressed those certain parts of our True Self. We repressed natural qualities, abilities, and feelings what make up our Lost Self. We still have these qualities but they are buried and not a part of our conscious self-image. This Lost Self also includes parts of ourselves that we consciously hide because we learned they are disliked.

Because we are operating with an incomplete self, we compensate for the missing parts and protect ourselves around not getting our needs met by creating a False Self. Our False Self is comprised of qualities that are acceptable to our caretakers and society, but this is a fake and therefore continues to perpetuate the wounding because our deepest needs are still not met.

Our False Self might have some qualities that others still perceive as negative, and because we can’t just get rid of these parts because they are supposed to be protecting us, we deny them. Creating our Disowned Self. The parts in this Disowned Self are parts others recognize in us but that we deny we possess.

Out of our True Self, Lost Self, False Self and Disowned Self we are only aware of what is left of our True Self and parts of our False Self we haven’t disowned. These form our personality,how we see ourselves and would describe ourselves to others.

Our Lost and Disowned Selves are there but are not in our awareness. They start becoming apparent to us with the assistance of our partner. Their complaints, criticisms and behavior change requests are all suggestive of our other parts playing roles in our functioning and relating. Until we own these parts and integrate them into our picture of who we are, we are doomed to dissatisfaction in our lives.

The kicker is that we fell in love with our partner who is our Missing Self. They possess, among other things of course, the qualities of our Lost and Disowned Selves. This is Mother Nature’s way of making sure we become whole again.

As we can’t hide from our partner as we can from the public, we are forced to start recognizing and owning our denials. We had deemed these qualities negative, though, and so we are resistant to taking ownership of these traits in ourselves and in turn reject them in our partner as well. They become a source of conflict in our relationship.

By taking our partner’s criticisms seriously, we have access to parts or ourselves that we normally wouldn’t have. Also, the things we hate most about our partner are often true of ourselves! Thus, our relationship is a rich source of information about us, and it gives us a chance at integrating ourselves and becoming whole.

Reclaiming all of our True Self is essential to our satisfaction and genuine happiness with ourselves and our partner.

Happy Reclaiming!!!

Author's Bio: 

Emma K. Viglucci is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, is the creator of the MetroRelationship" philosophy and a variety of Successful Couples" programs and products that assist couples succeed at their relationship and life. To get your downloadable relationship enrichment insights and receive her weekly successful couples articles, nurturing nuggets (sm) and other resources visit: www.metrorelationship.com.