How to Prevent Transference from Ruining Your Relationship

Not everyone understands the word “transference”, but this concept appears frequently in relationships. Transference in relationships causes certain people to repeat spousal abuse history, fall in love with toxic people, or fail to form an intimacy with their spouses. Understanding this concept will help you to take the first step in preventing it from ruining your efforts to form a healthy relationship.

Definition of Transference

The term “transference” started to emerge during the rise of psychoanalysis. It refers to a redirection of sentiment, feeling, or emotion experienced in the past to object or person at the present day. This term used to be popular among therapists, who used it to describe the “connection” that happens between therapist and client.

Now, transference has become a popular term to describe past psychological baggage, which affects current relationships. Transference causes someone to projects his or her past experiences to the current condition. Think about the times you heard words such as, “Don’t treat me like I’m your mother”, or “My abuse at the hands of my father made me afraid of connecting seriously with men”.

Transference may have a positive impact to form familiarity when connecting with new people. However, when there is much negative psychological baggage, transference can prevent you from creating a full, meaningful relationship.

Forms of Negative Transference in Relationship

There are several negative transferences one may experience in a relationship. They are:

  • Excessive idealization

Idealization happens when you are trying to “fill the gap” between what you know about a potential partner and his/her actual personality by creating an overly-ideal image. For example, if your father is cold, you may imagine a potential man as a “protective knight” or surrogate affection source.

  • Negative projection

If you have a lot of anger or bitterness from past experiences, you may project them on your loved one. For example, if your parents were demanding and authoritative, you may lash out to your loved one when he/she does not follow your high “standard”.

  • Avoidance

Excessive fear toward relationship can happen if a person is traumatic about a bad relationship. This can happen to a person from a broken home or those who got out of an abusive relationship.

  • Oedipal-type transference

This transference type describes people who fall in love with others who resemble their parents (father or mother). While it is not wrong, it can cause you to neglect your partner’s true personality when experienced in excessive level.

These negative transferences can affect relationships in many ways. They may reduce the quality of communication between couples. They can also make people act disproportionately when facing problems with their mates. You must solve your unfinished business or past burden to prevent transference from ruining your relationship.

First Step: Recognizing Transference Signs

How do you know when transference happens? If you are in a relationship, pay attention to signs like these:

  • Obsession toward a relationship, regardless of damages or unending conflicts
  • Persistent demands to change other people to fit expectations
  • Inexplicable repulsion or attraction toward someone, often not based on reality
  • Disappointment from drastic differences between fantasy and reality
  • Making every behavior or word from someone else as a personal thing
  • Strong emotions (positive or negative) when your partner says or does something specific

By recognizing these signs, you understand that you project your past to current relationship. The best action is to find professional and social support that can give outsider’s perspective. They are also helpful when your relationship is toxic and requiring intervention.

Tips to Deal with Transference in Relationships

If your relationship is toxic and causing you (or your partner) to receive abuse, consider asking for help in breaking it. However, if the transference happens in a relationship that can still be fixed, you and your partner can work on it. Here are several tips to stop projecting the past and start focusing on the now:

  • Conduct reality check on your transference

Make the cause of your transference clear by asking an honest question, such as “Who my partner resembles?” Write down the question and the answer in a journal. Give detailed descriptions of things that make them similar. It will provide written proof of your transference cause.

  • Ask your partner about his/her feeling

Sit down with your partner and ask about how he/she feels about you. Ask your partner to be honest about certain acts or words that make them feel unappreciated, misunderstood, blamed, forcibly changed, or other negative feelings.

  • Face your past

Go through memory lane and find out more about what you lack in the past. It may be affection, affirmation, attention, appreciation, or the combination of all. You may need to discuss this with family members or talk with a therapist, because your memories or repression may cloud your judgment.

Once this problem is realized, try visiting a couple therapist with your spouse. If your relationship is worth saving, you must work together to solve the transference problem.

Transference in relationships causes people to see their partners or connections in unrealistic ways. Recognize this problem to have a healthier, more realistic relationship goal.

5 Ways to Find Happiness from Every Little Thing Around You

Happiness is something that is sought after by everyone. Unfortunately, many people feel that the journey to find happiness is not always easy.

The definition of “happiness” for each person is different. Some people may feel happy when they have much money, and some may feel happy if they have many friends, while others are happy when they are healthy.

However, apart from your own definition of it, finding happiness is not as difficult as we think. Our nature often makes us too focused on big things that we eventually forget that happiness can easily be found in various small things around us.

If you often feel unhappy, these ways below are the right ways to find the happiness you’ve been looking for.

Happiness Cannot be Measured by The Amount of Money that You Have

Let’s be real; money is very, very important to make your life easier. However, it is important to realize that the peace in your soul cannot be bought with all the money in the world.

To find happiness, you must realize that money only acts as a compliment. Try to divert your mind from any material-ish things and try to focus on things that bring calm like family, friends, and lovers.

Happiness that comes from non-material things tends to last longer and can continue to grow while happiness that comes from money and wealth will continue to decrease or even run out over time.

Never Take Anything in Your Life for Granted

Never take every little thing in your life for granted. Start to appreciate everything around you without exception. Things that you underestimate can be something that you will badly miss when it’s gone.

Regret does come later, so make sure you don’t regret anything that happens in your life. The most bitter regrets usually come from things that you didn’t realize before.

Starting from now, you must appreciate the goodness around you. You have to thank strangers who do good for you, give praise to the people closest to you, and establish a close relationship with people who are important to you.

If you do all those things above, happiness will come by itself. Moreover, you can also be a better person and improve your relationship with everyone.

Be Brave and Bold; Enjoy Every Second of Your Life

Everyone has fear; fear of death, poverty, solitude, or even change. Sometimes those fear can make it difficult for you to find happiness. Therefore, you have to be brave and bold, dare yourself every day to enjoy every second in your life.

Focusing on any form of fear in your mind will only add to the burden of life while making you forget the good things around. This attitude will only make you feel unhappy and full of anxiety. To avoid this, keep in mind that you only live once. Do not spend your time to struggle with anxiety and fear that is mostly not real.

Venturing into life without fear does require time. Especially if you are easily overthinking, but if you have the willingness to do that, there will always be a way for you to change.

Be a Good Person to Others

Being a good person who brings good to others will make you happier. This is not a mere theory, major research in the United States has proven that doing good to others has a greater positive impact on people who do it compared to those who receive it.

The positive impact can ultimately lead to increased physical and mental health. Therefore, it is not surprising that people who do good to others are much happier than people who think of their own happiness.

If you are healthy and have much free time, you may try to participate in social activities around your environment. Besides bringing happiness to yourself, you can also provide tangible benefits to society.

Learn to Accept that Life is not Always about Flowers & Butterflies

To find happiness, you need to realize that difficulties, bad things, and suffering are part of life. No life runs smoothly without challenges. Everyone will have experienced difficult times in some points whether you like it or not.

By accepting this fact, you will find it easier to be happy with every little thing in your life. This attitude will shape you into a resilient person who is more prepared to face whatever challenges that may occur in the future.

Finally, from the five methods above, finding happiness is not that difficult. You only need to open your eyes and your mind as well as changing your view of life slightly. After all, it is important to note that happiness is not that hard to find, all you have to do is looking in the right direction.