Happiness can seem boring

Sometimes people seek happiness by making choices which bring much ‘drama’ to their lifes with many peaks and troughs.Whereas adrenaline junkies in competitive sports and other adventure activities can be happily well suspended ‘in the moment’ ,others find their ‘dramas’ bring them misery.This is particularly so in the realm of personal relationships.Harville Hendrix in his groundbreaking book ‘Getting the Love You Want’ describes the natural instinct of people to unconsciously seek aspects of their parents in the partners they choose.Hendrix discusses how this is a natural,intuitive attempt to heal childhood wounds as well as to repeat the positive aspects of childhood relationships.Freud and other  psychodynamic therapists would describe this as ‘transference’.

Unfortunately,sometimes the negative aspects predominate and people often wonder why they keep ‘choosing’ partners who seem to have the same frustrating,maybe abusive, characteristics.Often there is excitement around these relationships with their cycles of breakup and makeup.Hendrix describes how the natural unaware urge is to hope even toxic  relationships work and in so doing,apparently make the past better.Hendrix introduces a form of couples therapy called Imago Therapy which is designed to make these patterns more conscious and allow more flexibility between partners.However,when people cannot resolve their conflicts,even with counselling help,the damaging patterns continue with their hurtful consequences.

Sometimes people will say people they DO get on with, are boring and the relationship is boring.Perhaps redefining what seems boring  in a ‘working’ relationship helps  to escape highly ‘exciting’ but unacceptably damaging relationship cycles.Hendrix would say it is likely that we are often fascinated most by those who are least likely to want to meet some of our major needs.He would argue the key to success is whether partners can stretch to meet each others needs. It is helpful to be able and willing to do  the psychological work to better understand each others background to understand why each others particular needs exist.This can make each others needs more acceptable when,once,those needs once appeared quirky.Clearly,different people have different capacities to ‘stretch’.Perhaps there needs to be some judicious finding of balance between excitement and workability.Healthy relationships allow healthy,predictable, routines which replace chaos with a more level structure.It may be important not to interpret these as boring.

If you are seeking the services of a Perth Psychologist or Perth Counsellor, please contact me at Makomdavid@gmail.com