Wright Foundation | July 27, 2015

How To Strengthen Your Romantic Relationship

At the beginning of our relationships, we often experience the honeymoon effect. We’re more likely to be in the present moment, which brings us much more excitement and satisfaction.


But as day-to-day reality sets in, the unconscious mind takes over, directed by early, often subconscious programming and unfinished business from the past surfaces—often with strong emotion that frequently results in fights.

Conscious awareness about what is going on is key to your growth in intimacy and development as a couple. So let’s talk about the unconscious beliefs and how to reveal them to your partner.

Unconscious Beliefs Challenge Our Relationships

Our unconscious beliefs color our thoughts, feelings, perceptions, and actions—and our relationship choices. They control how we engage with others, how comfortable or uncomfortable we are with intimacy, and how triggered we get when our loved one isn’t available. They determine our emotional tenor and what sparks our fights—all from our early experiences.

When strong implicit memories are triggered, unbeknownst to us, childhood pain and fear comes raging to the surface. This may happen when you sense your partner isn’t there for you, for instance, and you don’t have a clue that you just activated a pain pocket from your matrix through an implicit memory. You think your charged emotional reaction is all due to your partner’s insensitivity, and while that is a trigger, the bulk of the charge is coming from the past.

No one had an absolutely perfect childhood. It is your job as an adult in relationships to learn where your gaps are and take responsibility to fill them in and continue where your childhood development left off. Why does all this matter? Because while implicit memories from the past are stored outside of our awareness, they arise in the present moment, and are masked by what we think we are experiencing in the current moment. When we are angry, or panicking, or feeling deeply hurt, our present feelings often stem from our implicit memories, and we assume the present situation is causing our reaction.

Open Communication Will Save Your Relationship

As your fights tease up feelings, childhood triggers, and unfinished business beneath the surface, share them! If you are irresponsible in a fight, admit it. If your feelings are hurt, say ouch. If you are punishing your partner with the silent treatment, fess up. If you’re pissed, say so. If you’re afraid, cop to it. If you’re feeling warm and tender, say it—and show it. If you don’t know what’s going on, own up to that.

Getting to—and sharing—what is going on underneath the surface of your fights can be one of the most powerful features of intimacy in your relationship. Sharing these vulnerable discoveries creates some of the most powerful intimate encounters and some of the best intercourse of all kinds!

If you’re looking for deeper, more meaningful relationships, you can order our relationship book, The Heart of The Fight.


Blog post image courtesy: Flickr user leo-gruebler.

Wright Living is a division of the Wright Foundation for the Realization of Human Potential, a leadership institute located in Chicago, Illinois. Wright Living performative learning programs are integrated into the curriculum at Wright Graduate University.