In an unhealthy relationship, information is coming in and going out without filtration and without restraint; the relationship loses its strength and becomes frail and fragile. The couple cannot produce a safe space between them, and other figures are treading between them. In a relationship where a conflict between the couple arises and family or friends are called to get involved to take sides or to give advice – and many times serve as judges that determine who is right – the couple will struggle to find its own way to bridging their gap.
Involving other people who are outside the relationship may leave the couple “stuck”; each one with their own “justice” and outside supporters and thus unable to build a space where their differences and disagreements can exist in peace. Difficulties that arise for a couple whose members have not yet completed their individual process of emotional separation from their family of origin, are characterized by a great deal of immaturity typified by dependency, difficulty in making independent decisions as well as by the search for parental approval and blessing.
In most cases, their parents’ needs will trump their own needs or the couple’s needs, in their many attempts to placate their parents, their automatic stance in their parents’ favor and their preference of their parents over their partner who is viewed as sabotaging it. They fear not meeting their family’s expectations and carry a great weight of responsibility to their parents. This relationship creates an overload, and hinders the ability to clear energy and resources for building the relationship.