Busyness, Trauma and our Inner Ages

Relationship Design

This week we’re diving into some profound insights shared in a recent episode of Sexy Marriage Radio with John Eldridge (Busyness and Unhealed Trauma | John Eldredge #659).

The conversation revolved around the evolving dynamics of relationships, the impact of busyness, and the unveiling of unhealed trauma, particularly childhood trauma.

The Impact of Busyness on Relationships

As John Eldridge aptly pointed out, our modern lives are busier than ever, and this busyness takes a toll on our relationships and lives. The constant hustle and bustle can leave us emotionally drained, with little energy left for meaningful connection. Recognizing the cost of this busyness on our personal well-being and relationships is the first step toward fostering positive change.

One of the key concepts discussed is the idea of “inner ages” – different aspects of ourselves shaped by past experiences, especially childhood.

The invitation here is to tune in to our emotions during triggering events and ask ourselves, “How old do I feel right now?”

This simple yet powerful question opens the door to self-awareness and empathy, both for ourselves and our spouse.

John emphasizes the importance of creating a safe space within relationships to discuss these inner ages. It’s crucial to recognize that both men and women may respond differently to this concept. While women may be more open to understanding, men might feel the pressure to fix things – which highlights the significance of fostering an environment where vulnerability is embraced, and spouses can share their inner experiences without judgment.

One aspect of the conversation that struck me was John talked about the idea of the impact of unmet needs from childhood, such as the impact his absent mother had on him – a feminine famine. He suggests that unaddressed needs may manifest in adult behaviors and desires. For instance, a yearning for intimacy might be rooted in a lack of maternal presence during formative years. This realization was a powerful moment of self-discovery and compassion for me – as this is my experience as well.

Practical Language Tools

There are also practical language tools to navigate the complexities of inner ages within relationships.

Expressing feelings using phrases like “I feel like I’m talking to my 13-year-old self right now” or using the framework of “the story I am telling myself” provides a tangible way to communicate and connect on a deeper level. The goal is using these tools to facilitate open and honest conversations, paving the way for increased intimacy.

As the conversation unfolds, it becomes clear that honesty, both with oneself and in relationships, is THE path to intimacy.

Recognizing and sharing the stories we tell ourselves, the fears we harbor, and the wounds we carry can create an environment where authenticity thrives. It’s through this honesty that we can truly understand each other’s inner ages and foster a deeper connection.

In a world where busyness often dictates our lives and can even be seen as a badge of honor, taking the time to explore our inner ages and those of our spouses can be transformative.

As you embrace the concept of inner ages and practice open communication, you pave the way for stronger, more resilient connections.