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I. Wondering whether you married the right person is normal 

When you first decided to be together, there was a compelling reason behind that choice—a reason that Imago relationship therapy believes is foundational and significant.

We’ll talk more about that reason in just a bit. 

As the initial excitement of a relationship fades, it’s common for couples to question their decision. Did I choose the right partner? What did I see in them?  Doubts like these are normal, but they also signal a crucial moment in a relationship. When you get to this stage, you’re being asked to rediscover what made you choose one another in the first place.

A conscious marriage, as advocated by Imago relationship therapy, is about continuously rediscovering the reasons behind your initial choice and committing to that choice anew every day.

Ready to build a conscious marriage? 

Imago therapy offers many practical tools and strategies for couples to reconnect with their initial attraction and the deeper reasons they chose each other. It helps couples understand that love is more than a feeling; it’s a series of decisions and actions that keep the relationship vibrant and meaningful.  

Choosing each other again and again, amidst life’s ups and downs, is what builds a strong, conscious marriage. Imago relationship therapy not only reminds us of the importance of this continuous choice but also equips us with the means to do it effectively. 

Ready for a journey of mutual growth, understanding, and love that reaffirms the decision to be together?

 Let’s first talk about why you decided to stay together in the first place.


II. The Foundation of Choice in Imago Therapy

Understanding the initial reason you chose each other is essential

Imago Relationship Therapy offers the fascinating perspective that our partner selection is far from random; rather, it’s deeply influenced by our unconscious mind. 

According to Imago theory, we are drawn to partners who embody both the positive and negative traits of our primary caregivers. 

This unconscious drive aims to heal past wounds and fulfill unmet needs from our childhood. The theory posits that in our partner’s familiar behaviors, we see an opportunity for growth and healing, even though this process can bring challenges.

The Role of Unconscious Factors

The role of unconscious factors in partner selection explains why we often feel an irresistible pull towards certain individuals, a connection that seems to defy logic. This attraction is not just about finding someone who shares our interests or complements our personality. Instead, it’s about seeking a partner who, on some level, feels familiar—someone who mirrors the complex tapestry of love, pain, and comfort we experienced in our earliest relationships.

This unconscious selection process shapes our romantic relationships in profound ways. It influences how we interact, the conflicts we encounter, and the growth opportunities within the relationship. 

By understanding this dynamic, couples can move beyond blaming each other for their difficulties and start seeing their relationship as a pathway to personal development and healing. Through Imago Therapy, couples learn to navigate this complex terrain, transforming challenges into opportunities for deepening love and connection.


III. The Challenge of Doubt and Routine

The transition from excitement and passion to routine, doubts and disconnection is not only common but also an expected part of the journey toward a conscious marriage.

Routine, while providing a sense of stability and security, can also lead to a sense of monotony and predictability. The daily grind, with its responsibilities and repetitiveness, can make it challenging for couples to maintain the spark that initially brought them together. 

This is where doubts tend to surface, leading partners to question their compatibility and whether they made the right choice in each other. It’s during these times of questioning and uncertainty that the relationship may feel most vulnerable.

Yet, it’s important to recognize these challenges not as signs of failure, but as opportunities for growth and deeper connection. 

In the context of a conscious marriage, these moments of doubt and routine are significant.

They serve as reminders for couples to actively choose each other again, to reconnect with the reasons they came together in the first place, and to commit to the work needed to sustain and deepen their relationship. By facing these challenges head-on and embracing them as integral parts of the journey, you two can forge a stronger, more resilient bond that is capable of withstanding the tests of time.


IV. Rediscovering and Reaffirming Your Choice

In the journey of a conscious marriage, revisiting and reaffirming the reasons behind your initial choice to be with your partner is fundamental. This process not only deepens your connection but also reinforces your commitment during times of challenge or routine. Imago therapy offers insightful strategies and exercises to guide this rediscovery.


Strategies for Reconnecting with Initial Choices

  1. Reflective Sharing: Dedicate time to share with each other why you were drawn together in the first place. Discuss qualities that attracted you to your partner, memorable moments that deepened your bond, and how these elements still resonate with you today.
  2. Appreciation Lists: Regularly create lists of things you appreciate about your partner and share them. This exercise fosters a positive focus on your partner’s strengths and the unique aspects of your relationship.
  3. Revisiting Shared Goals: Reflect on shared goals or dreams that brought you together. Discuss how these have evolved and how you can support each other in achieving new or existing goals.


Practical Exercises from Imago Therapy

  1. The Imago Dialogue: This structured communication technique involves three steps: mirroring (repeating what your partner says), validation (acknowledging their perspective), and empathy (expressing understanding of their feelings). The Imago Dialogue fosters a deeper understanding and connection, allowing couples to reconnect with the emotional foundations of their relationship.
  2. Relationship Visioning: Work together to create a vision for your relationship. This involves discussing and documenting what you both desire in your partnership, including emotional needs, relationship dynamics, and shared aspirations. Our Relationship Vision Journal was created to help you revisit and update your vision to keep your relationship aligned with both your evolving desires and needs.
  3. Gratitude Journaling: Keep a joint gratitude journal where both partners can note down daily or weekly instances of gratitude related to their relationship. This practice helps maintain a positive perspective on the relationship and reinforces the reasons for choosing each other.


V. The Practice of Choosing Each Other Daily


Importance of Daily Actions and Decisions


Choosing each other every day is not about grand gestures; rather, it’s the small, consistent acts of love, respect, and appreciation that accumulate to form a deep and enduring bond. These actions signal to your partner that they are valued and cherished, reinforcing the foundation of your relationship.


Tips for Cultivating a Habit of Reaffirmation


  1. Start Your Day with a Positive Interaction: Make it a habit to begin each day with a kind word, a loving gesture, or a moment of gratitude shared with your partner. This sets a positive tone for the day ahead.
  2. Communicate Openly and Regularly: Ensure that open communication is a part of your daily routine. Discuss not just the practicalities of day-to-day life but also share your thoughts, feelings, and aspirations.
  3. Practice Active Listening: Make a conscious effort to listen actively to your partner, showing genuine interest in their words without immediately jumping to solutions or judgments.
  4. Express Gratitude Often: Regularly express gratitude for your partner and the small things they do. This can be through verbal appreciation, a thoughtful note, or a simple gesture that shows you do not take them for granted.
  5. Prioritize Quality Time: In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s crucial to carve out quality time together. Whether it’s a date night, a shared hobby, or simply a quiet evening walk, these moments are vital for maintaining and strengthening your connection.
  6. Show Affection: Physical touch, whether it’s holding hands, hugging, or cuddling, can significantly reinforce the feeling of connection and reassurance in your relationship.
  7. Celebrate Each Other’s Successes: Be your partner’s cheerleader by celebrating their successes and supporting them through challenges. This shared journey of highs and lows strengthens your bond.


By integrating these practices into your daily life, you actively choose your partner and the life you’ve built together every day. This ongoing commitment serves as a powerful reaffirmation of your love and dedication to each other and to the conscious marriage you are cultivating.


Continuing the Journey Towards a Conscious Marriage

It’s clear that choosing each other again and again is not just an act of love but a testament to the strength and resilience of a committed relationship. However, the journey doesn’t stop here. Building a conscious marriage is an ongoing process that involves overcoming obstacles together, utilizing effective communication tools, and continually deepening your connection – you’re invited to learn more in part 2.