People do relationships based on what they have learnt from watching their parents. They either copy what they have learnt, or they reject it and do the opposite. Often the choice to copy or reject is quite unconscious.

We don’t say “Oh my mum was distant and uncaring so I will be too”.  What actually happens is that we learn that being distant is normal and that physical affection is uncomfortable.

Therefore, it is important to reflect on what you learnt from your parents, or significant caregivers, and what you are taking on board now, as an adult.

If your parents were not great role models OR relating to each other in unhealthy ways, then unfortunately you’re likely to learn bad habits that can cause you real pain, and accumulate emotional damage over the years.

It can be really hard to identify your own emotional patterns, until you stop and reflect back on some of the messiness of the past, to see if you can notice any recurring themes.

It’s great to have support, in the form of a counsellor, psychologist or coach, to help you zone in on the things that you want to do better in a relationship, and strategies to help you identify and overcome these patterns.

What is a Trigger Anyway?

Everyone enters into relationships with their own set of wounds, triggers and hidden expectations. Knowing this, understanding this, and using this information to sooth yourself when you are triggered, is a great first step to prevent arguments and dissatisfaction in a relationship.

You know you are ‘triggered’ when someone says something and you have an immediate negative emotional reaction to that. This is YOUR trigger. It is something that gets you going, it is your button that is being pressed.

As an example, two people may hear the same comment about a bad haircut. One person might laugh it off, the other may take deep offense and never speak to that person again. They have been triggered. Perhaps they were highly criticised as a child and now they have no tolerance for it.

Blaming someone else for upsetting you will leave you in the uncomfortable space of not being able to work on your triggers, because you feel it is the other person’s fault. However, when we can acknowledge that this is OUR issue, and work on it, the trigger can be eliminated all together. Anger can simply turn into annoyance or irritation, and you will be much happier.

The more conscious we can be of our relationship patterns and our triggers, the better chance we stand when they come up in our relationships (and they will!), so we can work through them effectively, and keep the health of our relationships alive.

You can follow me @The_Divorce_Coach_For_Men where I will give you some tips on how to manage your emotions during your divorce and understand your own reactions and those around you.

I always love to hear other people’s reactions or experiences, so please feel free to comment, like and share if you believe this content could help another man, because we all know men who are suffering silently and it doesn’t have to be that way!

If you would like to book a free clarity call to help you understand where you are at, where you want to be and how to get there click here, or to watch a free video to gain some insight before the call click here.

Leanne Kanzler