The Heart Break of Romantic Relationship Facet # 3

We are set up to fail to get our needs met in Romantic Relationships in the same way that we are set up to fail in life - by being taught false beliefs about who we are and why we are here in human body, false beliefs about the meaning and purpose of this dance of life.

Facet # 3 - Shame Core - Inner Child Healing

"The dance that we learn as children - the repression and distortion of our emotional process in reaction to the attitudes and behavior patterns we adopt to survive in an emotionally repressive, Spiritually hostile environment - is the dance we keep dancing as adults.

We are driven by repressed emotional energy. We live life in reaction to childhood emotional wounds. We keep trying to get the healthy attention and affection, the healthy love and nurturing, the being-enhancing validation and respect and affirmation, that we did not get as children.

This dysfunctional dance is Codependence. It is Adult Child Syndrome. It is the tune that humans have been dancing to for thousands of years. Vicious, self-perpetuating cycles of self-destructive behavior"


"That shame is toxic and is not ours - it never was! We did nothing to be ashamed of - we were just little kids. Just as our parents were little kids when they were wounded and shamed, and their parents before them, etc., etc. This is shame about being human that has been passed down from generation to generation.

There is no blame here, there are no bad guys, only wounded souls and broken hearts and scrambled minds"


"If we are reacting out of what our emotional truth was when we were five or nine or fourteen, then we are not capable of responding appropriately to what is happening in the moment; we are not being in the now.

When we are reacting out of old tapes based on attitudes and beliefs that are false or distorted, then our feelings cannot be trusted.

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When we are reacting out of our childhood emotional wounds, then what we are feeling may have very little to do with the situation we are in or with the people with whom we are dealing in the moment.

In order to start be-ing in the moment in a healthy, age-appropriate way it is necessary to heal our "inner child". The inner child we need to heal is actually our "inner children" who have been running our lives because we have been unconsciously reacting to life out of the emotional wounds and attitudes, the old tapes, of our childhoods".

Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Codependence is a dis-ease of reaction. As long as we are in reaction we are being a victim. We are not owning our power if we are reacting. Many of us have reacted to being hurt in Romantic Relationships by going to the other extreme - overreacting to the point where we spent many years out of relationship. Then we try a relationship again and have another disaster because we are reacting to our childhood programming and we again react to our reaction by overreacting to the other extreme. In Recovery we are working on getting the pendulum swing smaller and smaller - finding the middle ground, the place of balance.

Overreacting to our patterns is just as dysfunctional as reacting to the wounds that caused the patterns. If we discover a pattern - say, that we leave relationships before we can be left - and we overreact and decide to stick it out in the next relationship no matter what, that can lead to us accepting a lot of abuse in the name of recovery. If we are in reaction and trying to figure out what is right and wrong - we are giving power to the disease.

There are no mistakes only lessons - which are painful but not that painful if we are not judging and shaming ourselves. What makes lessons so painful is the shame the disease lays on us - in other words - the disease creates all of this fear about getting hurt until we are terrified of being hurt - but what is so painful about being hurt is the shame that the disease beats us up with after we get hurt.

The hurt itself passes - the shame and judgment the disease abuses us with is what is most painful.

We are programmed to believe that making a "mistake" is horribly shameful. We are programmed to believe that if we do not find "Happily-ever-after" in a Romantic Relationship then we have made a mistake, or something is wrong with us.

When a relationship doesn't work our we torture ourselves with recriminations about what we did "wrong" or what is "wrong" with us. We rip ourselves for the shame of "failing".

"Our intuition/gut/heart tells us the Truth - it's our head that screws things up. I understand perfectly why my friend is in reaction the way she is - I am just very sad that it means she can't be in my life. She and I both come from a place of having so much terror of intimacy that we were relationship phobic - sometimes what is necessary for someone with a relationship phobia is to jump right in, that may be the only way past the fear.

I am happy to say that I don't have a relationship phobia anymore - I welcome another chance to explore a relationship now that I know that my worst fear can come true and it can make me stronger and better and happier. The reason for that is that I did not give power to the shame - what a miracle! What a gift! I am so grateful." An Adventure in Romance by Robert Burney

"Codependence causes us to have a distorted and repressed emotional process, and the only way out is through the feelings. Codependence gives us a scrambled mind, a reversed dysfunctional way of looking at ourselves and the world, and we have to be able to use the wonderful tool that is our mind while changing our attitudes and reprogramming our thinking.

It seems awfully complicated, doesn't it?

That is because it is!

On another level it is also very simple. It is a Spiritual Dis-ease. It can only be healed through a Spiritual Cure. It cannot be healed by only looking at the symptoms. That is backwards.

The cure is available through surrendering control to a Higher Power. We cannot do this healing by ourselves. We need a Loving Higher Power in our lives. We need other Recovering people in our lives.

We are powerless out of human ego-self to get out of this quagmire. That is the bad news. It is also the good news.

Once you let go enough times, once you becoming willing to go to any length, to do whatever it takes, once you become willing to make healing the number one priority in your life, then you will be guided all the way. You will get the tools you need when you need them. You will get the help you need when you need it. You will have Loving, supportive people come into your life when you need them. You will start making rapid, discernible progress in your healing transformation.

On the other side of powerlessness is all the power in the Universe. On the other side of powerlessness is freedom, happiness, and peace within. On the other side of powerlessness is Joy and Love!

The answer is to stop fighting it, to surrender to the Spiritual Forces at work. Surrender to the possibility that maybe, just maybe, you do deserve to be happy and Loved."

Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Codependence Recovery is not self-help. We are being guided. The Force is with us!

Romantic Relationships are part of the curriculum in this school of Spiritual Evolution - not the place we find happily ever after. Life is a journey - it is not about reaching a destination.

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"As I said, the goal of healing is not to become perfect, it is not to "get healed". Healing is a process, not a destination - we are not going to arrive at a place in this lifetime where we are completely healed.

The goal here is to make life an easier and more enjoyable experience while we are healing. The goal is to LIVE. To be able to feel happy, Joyous, and free in the moment, the majority of the time.

To get to a place where we are free to be happy in the moment most of the time, we need to change our perspectives enough to start recognizing Truth when we see or hear it. And the Truth is that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience that is unfolding perfectly and always has been, there are no accidents, coincidences, or mistakes - so there is no blame to be assessed.

The goal here is to be and enjoy! We can't do that if we are judging and shaming ourselves. We can't do that if we are blaming ourselves or others.

We must start recognizing our powerlessness over this disease of Codependence.

As long as we did not know we had a choice we did not have one.

If we never knew how to say "no", then we never really said "yes".

We were powerless to do anything any different than we did it. We were doing the best we knew how with the tools that we had. None of us had the power to write a different script for our lives.

We need to grieve for the past. For the ways in which we abandoned and abused ourselves. For the ways we deprived ourselves. We need to own that sadness. But we also need to stop blaming ourselves for it. It was not our fault!

We did not have the power to do it any differently.


"It is when we start understanding the cause and effect relationship between what happened to the child that we were, and the effect it had on the adult we became, that we can Truly start to forgive ourselves. It is only when we start understanding on an emotional level, on a gut level, that we were powerless to do anything any differently than we did that we can Truly start to Love ourselves.

The hardest thing for any of us to do is to have compassion for ourselves. As children we felt responsible for the things that happened to us. We blamed ourselves for the things that were done to us and for the deprivations we suffered. There is nothing more powerful in this transformational process than being able to go back to that child who still exists within us and say, "It wasn't your fault. You didn't do anything wrong, you were just a little kid".

*"It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are. And the only way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honor that child's feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around."

Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

next: The Heart Break of Romantic Relationship Facet # 4

APA Reference
Staff, H. (2009, January 3). The Heart Break of Romantic Relationship Facet # 3, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Last Updated: August 7, 2014

Medically reviewed by Harry Croft, MD

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