Are intimate relationships difficult for you? If you’re anything like me then you probably struggle to relax easily into a new relationship. You may still find it hard at times if you’ve been with someone a while.
It takes time to trust the other person, to know they aren’t going to hurt you and to be able to feel safe with them.
For all you know, they could be like the person in your life that’s caused you to feel those ways. It’s hard to know, it’s hard to let go and take that risk, they aren’t “that” person.
What are you most worried about in relationships?
Sometimes you may not realise why you feel, act or say the things you do. Where is it coming from and why can’t you just trust this person. Why can’t you be open and let them in? What is stopping you?
Is it because you don’t want to get hurt?
Learning to surrender is a big one, letting go of control so you can flow with life. When you’re so fixated on having life a certain way, keeping safe, making sure others are being honest with you, it stops the natural flow.
You maybe guessing that the person you’re in an intimate relationship is going to hurt you, it may happen, but it might not. People say and do things all the time that might hurt, but most of all it’s not on purpose. They don’t set out to do it, the fear of things going wrong can be what stops you getting involved in the first place.
If you’re someone that struggles to say no and stand up for yourself, this can make your intimate relationships more difficult because you’re forever compromising yourself. You put others needs before your own, often for fear of confrontation.
What makes intimate relationships harder for children of alcoholics?
Children of alcoholics struggle in relationships because of the difficulties they’ve experienced growing up. Particularly if they’ve not had healthy role models in their parents.
Trust and safety are two of the biggest issues faced by children of alcoholics, as adult you probably notice this in a lot of your relationships. It may take you a lot longer to gain trust and a sense of safety until you really know someone.
Often children of alcoholics have experienced physical abuse so intimate relationships are difficult. Some can feel more protective of their bodies and personal space. Letting someone touch them physically or get close can take time. Not everyone is patient, but the right people will be.
Also something I found hard is around accepting difference, if someone is different to you in lots of ways it can be hard to accept. Often children of alcoholics want to fix them. You can’t deal with the annoyance, frustration or anger, so it’s just easier if they change, unfortunately it doesn’t work like that.
What happens when you do get hurt?
Ultimately you are likely to feel hurt because you interpret something one way, when it’s meant another. You’ll have different opinions, beliefs and values. You’ll have things that upset you and things that don’t. How resourceful and resilient do you feel? Because when those things do and more likely will happen, if you have the skills and tools, you’re better able to cope.
Often that’s one of people’s biggest fears, not coping.
I’m sure you want your relationships to be as loving, supportive and safe as they can be. To not feel on edge, distrusting, disconnected or unsafe. Achieving that sometimes involves you doing some work on yourself, if you want tangible change. You can quickly see changes with just small tweaks to how you think, feel and act.
I go into a lot more detail in my online course “Bring Mindset Magic to your relationships”. You can find out more about it by clicking here.