There is a common issue that tends to come up with people in long-term intimate relationships that are undergoing rapid awakening. They can start to see unhealthy patterns that have been present but that they have been blind to. For example, we can be in a pattern where we caretake our partner emotionally or be the person who is on the receiving end of that unhealthy pattern. This can and does bring an enormous amount of rage in the person waking up as well as terror in our partner when they feel the deep changes that are happening.

When we are in such situations, we need to slow down and take an honest inventory of how we ended up in such a dynamic. In the example above, the person who is doing the caretaking appears to be in control, when in fact they are as impotent as their helpless partner. They are unconsciously exchanging some deep wounding around being helpless with their lover. This means that the helplessness feels like such a hot potato that they will do anything not to feel it. So they get involved with someone who will carry that aspect for them - their partner will be someone who is helpless emotionally or physically.

Vice versa, they can be the one carrying the helplessness because of their wounding around holding power. They do not believe that they can care for themselves, so they will find someone to care for them. In exchange, they will carry the helplessness of their partner and the venom that comes with it. Both partners lose here because such unconscious bargaining and projection does not leave room for genuine intimacy.

It needs to be remembered that caretaking is not the same as caregiving - which is a healthy way of interacting. I have talked about this in prior posts, if you need a refresher on the difference - I invite you to review it to better understand the dynamics involved.

At such a stage, we have to examine what we get out of our partner being dysfunctional. This needs to be done with utmost compassion for ourself as well as our partner. We do such things because we are unconscious of the pain that we carry. Being emotionally naked in front of another is terrifying business when we are wounded. It takes work to keep our heart open and change unhealthy patterns.

We can never fix nor heal our partner. What we can do is watch where we hide under the guise of caretaker/advisor or being the helpless adult that constantly abdicates their power by being over-reliant on their partner. The solution is incredibly simple as it is difficult. We need to learn to be present without caretaking or collapsing. In either of those scenarios, we need to understand that our partner will do their best to keep the old paradigm in action, and that we will as well on an unconscious level. Whatever the original unconscious agreement was - it will still want to assert itself. That is how the unconscious works.

Healing deep wounds is a process and not an event. How to proceed and what to do will be revealed to you by your own psyche, one step at a time. Pay attention and tend to the step in front of you. Take that step and get solid footing. The next step will be revealed then and only then. Trying to jump ahead is what our anxiety will inform us to do. Drastic steps at such times will only lead to more confusion and pain. Learn to tolerate the anxiety; it is an old voice that has no power over you. But it will try to assert itself, make no mistake.

Stay vigilant as to not repeat the old patterns. Remember that it does not matter if you are the one waking up or it is your partner. That initially uncomfortable stirring is an invitation for both of you to shift out of the stifling repetition of old childhood wounding. There is nothing more powerful than honesty in such times. Offered with kindness, truth can and will liberate both souls.