If Your Relationship Triggers You, Here's Why...


One of the reasons we love working with relationships here at the Center for Soulful Relationships is because life is all about relationships. 

Relationships have the power to lift us up and bring us great joy. And, they also have the power to bring us down into the depths of despair. 

Our intimate romantic partnerships, especially, is where all the magic happens. 

If you feel like your relationship started off filled with love, you had an instant connection with your partner, the sparks flew, and it felt like you had known one another for years, the reality is: You probably have. 

We get into romantic relationships with people who feel familiar to us. The word "familiar" has its roots in the word, "family." So, if someone feels "familiar" it's probably because they remind you of your family. 

When Freud said you marry your parents, he wasn't too far off. 

How often have said to your partner, "Ugh, you're acting just like my father" or worse, thought to yourself, "Ugh, I'm acting just like my mother"? 

There's no coincidence that you are behaving that way. 

In childhood we all have experiences with our parents, or other primary caregivers, good, bad, or ugly, that we then tend to repeat for the rest of our lives.

There's new science that helps explain why:
Research on neurobiology shows that our neural pathways as they relate to interpersonal relationships are established by the time we are 4 or 5 years old. 

By the time you are 5 years old, you have your blueprint for relationship patterns already laid out in your brain. 

That's why when your partner triggers you, you might all of a sudden start to feel like you're 5 again...because in some ways, you are. 

Regardless of how loving your family was growing up, all of us have triggers. That's because our parents weren't perfect. We all have needs and no parent is able to meet 100% of our needs 100% of the time. 

As a result, that one time your need wasn't met can get ingrained into your relationship pathways of the brain and any time you feel reminded of that situation, you practically leave your adult body and act like a child again. 

One of my favorite interventions for both individual therapy clients and couples therapy clients is to ask them, "How old do you feel right now?" when they are noticeably triggered. 

Once you have awareness of what age you feel, it can become easier to come back into your logical adult brain and evaluate the situation realistically. Until then, your relationship will continue to trigger all of your emotionally hurt places and you will continue to replay the situation like a rerun on TV...sometimes in what feels like a never ending loop. 

At the Center for Soulful Relationships we can help you out of that old rerun loop. We love to help people learn more about what triggers them so that they can heal those triggers and learn to love their relationships again, free from the pain and the patterns of the past. 

We call our individual therapy sessions Relationship Therapy for Individuals. When you meet with our relationship therapists at our San Jose location, you will have an opportunity to look at your behavior, notice what your triggers are, and learn how to heal them within yourself so that they don't constantly get triggered by your partner. 

If you want to participate in therapy with your partner, we have a powerful form of couples counseling and marriage therapy called Couples Intensives. These couples intensives are essentially couples retreats for you to take a deep dive into your own patterns of relationships from childhood and together with your partner, see how each of you triggers one another. Once you are able to see how each of your patterns interact with one another, you will then learn how to better navigate the cycle so that it doesn't end with unhealed hurt, anger, and resentment. 

If you are ready to take a deep look at your relationship triggers and work towards healing them, reach out to us for your Get Acquainted Call today. We would love to support you in love!