Category Archives: breakup

Do I Have Baggage from A Past Relationship

Do I Have Baggage from A Past Relationship

For better or worse, we all have a past. We have all been in relationships which have all been in relationships that leave us with hurts, pain, and baggage. Relationships have a way of shaping us and how we connect with each other. It makes sense that we can not just turn that off, but how do we know that it is impacting our current relationship? Here are a few signs that your past is showing up in the present.

You Have a Hard Time Letting Go of Things

And I mean actual things. I am a somewhat sentimental guy. My desk has little knick-knacks from parts of my life spread over it. There are certain objects that have the ability to take me back to a different time in my life just by looking at them. It is a definite warning sign if you find yourself doing this with things from your past relationship.

I also see this playing out on social media. I will be pretty blunt about this point. If you have gone through a painful or nasty breakup/divorce, there is no reason to remain connected with your Ex on social media. The same way that sentimental objects take us back, social media will keep taking you back to that pain and keep you there. There is a good chance that if you are not able to hit delete, you are still feeling the loss of that old relationship.

You Can Not Stay Attuned to Your Current Partner

Relationships require emotional attunement. Relationship expert Dr. John Gottman says that attunement is the desire to know the others inner world. This desire to get each other and attend to each others needs is what keeps relationships living, growing, and thriving as time passes.

This is really hard to do when we are living with pain from our past. It is like trying to give someone a piggyback ride while you have a broken ankle. At best, you will fall over. What is more likely is that you will hurt yourself further. You will feel like you are straining yourself without any healing.

You Are Extremely Reactive

Hurt is hurt, whether it is emotional or physical. Our brain does not necessarily tell the difference. When are hurt our instincts take over. If our previous relationship was painful for us, our brain puts us in survival mode when intimacy comes up.
This is why it can feel like we go 0-60mph sometimes. Our instincts are taking over and trying to defend us. Because we have learned at some point “I get hurt when people get close.” If you find yourself going into this survival mode with your current partner, you will want to seek help to move past this.

Couples therapy can be really helpful in moving through baggage from our past. But let’s say that your current partner does not want to come, or you feel like you would be dragging them in. Individual therapy can also be helpful in healing old wounds. Whatever the case, The Marriage & Family Clinic can help you in leaving the past in the past.

About the Author

Ryan Hicks is a licensed therapist and marriage counselor at The Marriage and Family Clinic in Denver, Colorado. He specializes in working with couples in high conflict and working with couples in the LGBTQ community. When he’s not working with couples, you’ll find him rock climbing or taking in the great outdoors of Colorado.

Is it Possible to Stay Friends with My Ex and Not Damage My New Relationship?

Is it Possible to Stay Friends with My Ex and Not Damage My New Relationship?

It’s fair to say that most of us have had the conversation with our partners about past relationships. We talk about how things went, why they ended, AND what things look between you and your ex now. On the receiving end of that conversation, we all secretly hope to feel the overwhelming sense of relief… Continue Reading

3 Glaring Signs It May Be Time To Leave Your Relationship

3 Glaring Signs It May Be Time To Leave Your Relationship

As a couple’s therapist in Denver, there is often a natural bias towards wanting couples to stay together. Therapists love seeing couples happy, passionate, and excited about their relationship’s future. However, there are also times where it is clear a relationship may not be a good fit. There are red flags that show when a… Continue Reading

When enough is enough

When enough is enough

You have known for a while that your relationship is suffering. Things are not as they used to be and the conflict is unbearable. You have been trying everything from your mother’s advice, magazine pro-tips and counselor’s suggestions with no real results. We all know that relationships change as we mature and we’re supposed to… Continue Reading

Healing After a Breakup

Healing After a Breakup

So, maybe you’ve found yourself in a bad relationship and want to end things before it gets even messier or maybe your relationship suddenly ended.  Either way, you’re left to deal with the aftermath of the break-up.  Unfortunately, because every break-up is different and we all handle things in our own way, there is not… Continue Reading

Break Free from Relationship Limbo

Break Free from Relationship Limbo

So the story goes, boy meets girl, or boy, or girl meets girl – or some version of the sort.  You date, maybe you fall in love, maybe you don’t.  Either way, as you travel through life together, unbeknownst to you, your partner decides to disembark the love train, leaving you single, grieving, and possibly… Continue Reading

How to Talk to Your Young Child About Divorce

How to Talk to Your Young Child About Divorce

  Divorce is hard. Even under the best of circumstances, when parents decide that a divorce will ultimately benefit their own and their family’s health and happiness long term, the short term is hard. There are many resources to help families during this challenging time but it can be grey when it comes down to… Continue Reading

Breaking Up is Hard To Do: These Tips Will Make It Easier

Breaking Up is Hard To Do: These Tips Will Make It Easier

It happens to the best of people. You’re in a good relationship sailing along smoothly and then for whatever reason you decide that the inevitable has to happen: you have to breakup with your Significant Other (SO). Whether it’s because your relationship started becoming too rocky, or you realized you two were just going in… Continue Reading