Getting the love you want

Getting the love you want by Harville Hendrix is the awesomest book on relationships I’ve seen.

Harville’s theory is called “Imago”, and it basically means that you unconsciously choose as a partner someone who resemblems your parents (or primary caretakers), both good and bad.

So your imago is the combined set of positive and negative traits that your parents had that both nurtured and wounded you. And unconsciously what you desire from your relationship is that you may go back and relive those childhood wounds so you can heal them this time.

What ends up happening most of the time, though, is that we simply end up reliving them without healing a damn thing.

And then we feel like quitting, like getting a divorce, and starting over.

But your imago is still the same, you’re going to fall in love with someone with the same set of positive and negative traits as the last one, so you’re destined to repeat the same misery over and over again, until you choose to go into the process and heal those wounds. Together.

You and your partner are together precisely so you can heal each others’ wounds. They can only be healed by someone who unconsciously reminds you of your parents.

So instead of looking for a way out, start looking for a way in and through.