How To Get The Love You Want – Interview with Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt
Are you getting the love you want? Have you fallen in love with someone and now that the honeymoon is over you’re wondering what happened? How to get the love you want seems to have slipped away and you don’t know how to get it back.
I believe we’re all here figuring it out. And your most intimate relationships give you the perfect conditions and opportunities to do so.
If you aren’t getting the love you want what can you do about it?
Harville Hendrix Ph.D. and Helen LaKelly Hunt Ph.D. co-wrote a book together titled “Getting the Love You Want” and it goes into detail about who we fall in love with and why. It is a brilliant book. They discuss why we are attracted to and fall in love with certain people and how our childhood wounds play a role in the process.
Initially, when we fall in love everything feels wonderful.
This wonderful feeling usually lasts no longer than 2 years and after that most relationships transform into some form of power struggles. These power struggles come from our desire to get that initial euphoric feeling of connection back. But all it does is make it worse.
Power struggles are disconnecting behaviors that start the downward spiral that so many couples experience.
Harville and Helen teach that the reason why we fall in love is to find our true essence. The true essence of love. And it’s through intimate relationships where we have an opportunity to find our way back to love.
Traditional Marriage is Transforming
With the divorce rates so high, they believe that traditional marriage is transforming into what they call a Conscious Partnership. Where each partner looks out for and takes care of the relationship. Couples are finding ways to make the relationship itself an important part of their union. And to take care of it like they would their garden, their children or their home etc.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Harville and Helen. We had a fun time together. I was a bit star struck and even nervous at first, having followed their work with great admiration. Harville and Helen are a powerful couple who have done profound work in the evolution of relationships, marriage, coupling, and communication. And with such deep dedication. They are very knowledgable on this subject. Below is the interview. They have the answer of how to get the love you want.
What are your relationship complaints?
In the interview, Harville shares that what a person complains about most in their intimate relationship is exactly what they didn’t get enough of when they were a child. How to get the love you want is actually hidden in these complaints. What do you complain about regarding your intimate relationship? And how similar is that to what you didn’t get when you were a child?
He says that when you complain about something three times… really complain about it with emotion, you’re into a childhood memory. There’s something deeper going on that needs your attention if you want to create “Conscious Partnership.” Otherwise, you stay in “woundology” in your relationships.
The Secret to Getting The Love You
Helen talked about how to get the love you want by caring for “the space in between.” Such a brilliant concept!
How can you free yourself from destructive relationship behaviors? If a couple is struggling in a relationship then Helen encourages them to think of the relationship as two people AND also the space in between them. Space isn’t empty. It has energy fields in it.
For a relationship to be healthy you need to care for this space and keep it “clean.”
If two people can make the space between them safe then they can connect. If there is anxiety between the space they don’t feel safe and the connection will be ruptured.
Understanding and having the tools to keep the space between each other as a couple safe is a powerful way to develop Conscious Partnership. Harville Hendrix and Helen LaKelly Hunt have a whole science of how to keep the space between a couple safe so that they can have the relationship of their dreams. Dealing with challenging relationship issues by both partners “caring for the space in between” will make all the difference in the health of a relationship.
You can accomplish this through better communication. Are you practicing healthy ways of communicating in your relationships? Many couples are challenged by knowing how to improve communication in a relationship.
Communication with a Safe Structure
Being able to communicate with each other by first making sure you keep and maintain a safe space is part of what Harville and Helen call Dialogue.
They teach couples a dialogue process. It’s a way of communicating that has a certain structure to it. It offers the couple consistency and predictability when challenging issues come up. Part of the process involves mirroring and validating. Once the couple understands the structure of this type of communication they can become more spontaneous with it but first, they need to understand the structure and process.
When a couple is “In Dialogue” it offers each person a sense of safety because they know what’s coming next. They know the process includes zero negativity and that each person is committed to speaking responsibly. No one will be yelled at or put down. At least that is the commitment and intention.
And what’s fascinating is that this Dialogue process actually helps the participating couple to balance and integrate their brain functions and decrease reactive communication patterns.
Helen and Harville are a beautiful couple and have spent their lives forging a path for better relating. They are committed to the transformation of relationships and to the evolution of a “relational culture.” It was an honor to be able to interview them.
As a Divine Feminine Educator who teaches Heart Talk, I enjoyed Helen and Harville’s perspectives on communication.
What concepts of Harville’s and Helen’s resonated most with you?
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