As we head toward Valentine's Day, often we think of our relationships. Sometimes we remember past relationships, appreciate present relationships, or dream of future relationships. Teri talked about the A frame relationship which is very codependent. Tamara talked about the smothering relationship where you can hardly tell where one person ends and another begins. Today we will discuss two more types of relationships. The Pedestal
Can you picture your lover on their knees looking up at you while you are standing on a pedestal? You may think it would be blissful to have someone put you on a pedestal. The idea can be seductive, but the reality is restrictive. Your lover's actions are saying, "I love you not for what you are, but for what I think you are. I have an idealized image of you and I would like you to live up to that image". It feels pretty precarious from way up there. You can fall so easily and so far if you do not meet the expectations from your lover. If you are in love with someone that you have put on a pedestal, you are trying to communicate with an image of someone, not the real person you love. This relationship carries a great deal of emotional distance due to the lack of authentic connections. No one here is being real. A relationship cannot grow close when one is on a pedestal.
Picture one partner standing with his her hand on the head of her kneeling partner. He almost looks like he is groveling. The partner in the "master" role takes charge in the relationship. S/he makes all the decisions and acts as the head of the family. While in most healthy relationships, there is typically a partner with a stronger personality it is healthy for both partners to feel that they are an important part of the relationships. When one person assumes the "master" role, it creates many issues such as emotional distancing, inequality, hurt feelings, and power struggles, rebelion, and passive aggressiveness. There is a lot of energy put forth on both parts to remain in the position of "master" and "slave". The "Master" often grows resentful of always having to make decisions. The "slave" grows weary of never having a say. This relationship promotes no positive growth. It is essential to your relationship and intimacy that both partners have a voice.
Please follow along the rest of the week as Natalie and Joleen discuss more styles of relationships. As always, thanks for reading!
Written by Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT
Alexa Griffith, LMHC, LCAC, NCC, RPT is a licensed therapist and Registered Play Therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Alexa enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, couples and relationship counseling. Alexa also does play therapy, family counseling, child counseling, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Zionsville, and Westfield