You Spot It, You Got It!
By: Kathy
November 25, 2012

It never ceases to amaze me.  The longer I work with a couple and the more layers that get peeled back, it is fascinating how very much alike the two people are!  I heard an interesting concept awhile back that perfectly sums up what it is that I am witnessing . . . “You spot it, You got it!”

What we see in someone else is really what we see in ourselves!  Who better to identify some loathsome behavior or trait in a person than someone who is intimately familiar with it within themselves?  It is basic projection.  I can see quite clearly in someone else the things I don’t like and need to change within myself.

We all learn how to cope with things that happened to us when we were young.  Naturally, being in different environments and dealing different situations and issues, we learned different ways of coping.  When we go out into the world and find someone to share our life with, one of the things that attracts us to that person is that they understand us!  

Who better to understand me than someone who is like me? If I have major shame issues, a person who grew up in a very shame based environment is really going to get me!  Who better to empathize with my plight of being abandoned than someone who was abandoned themselves?  Now understand, none of us have any idea this is all going on under the surface – we call it falling in love! It just feels SO good for someone to understand us and to feel our pain so. . .  ladies and gentlemen, we have a match!

That was on the front side.  On the back side, you recognize that your partner’s shame won’t allow them to confront a situation and complain bitterly.  Yet you’re complaining because you don’t want to confront the situation yourself!  You call your partner out for abandoning you, yet you routinely abandon yourself or others.  You attack your partner for their defensiveness, yet you’ve spent many hours in defense mode yourself.  You are angry and bitter at your spouse because they have been angry and bitter.  Attacking and blaming?  Yes, he is, my dear, and so are you.

Ultimately, when we look for flaws in our partner, we are looking into a mirror image of what we don’t like about ourselves and we are howling bitterly at it.  We get nowhere because our partner is busy howling at their own reflection.

When the layers are removed and the dust has settled, what we have are two very wounded individuals who need tending to.  If there isn’t too much damage, who better to tend to a wounded marital soldier than someone whose pain is the same?  The person who understands how it got broken can also understand how best to put it back together!  (Little tip:  Before any healing can take place, you have to quit wounding each other!)

So next time you are rearing back ready to strike at your partner with something you can’t stand about them, remember, you may be looking into your own reflection!  If you spot it, you got it!