As we have mentioned in other blogs, core beliefs are extremely important to the way you perceive the world. They are your frame of reference to what you believe about yourselves. 

Understanding how your core beliefs shape the way you interact in relationships, is essential to preventing the repetition of behaviour which is destructive to yourself and others.

If we take for example, Suzanna’s story, you can see that she strived for perfection in order to avoid her perceived core belief that she was a failure. If she wasn’t this perfect mother and wife, her fear of failure led to the belief that she would be left.

Suzanna’s ‘I am a failure’ core belief could have developed as a result of being made to feel ‘not good enough’ in childhood. It doesn’t necessarily mean the parents where to blame. Maybe she had a sibling who she felt was better than her. Maybe she felt inadequate when she compared herself to others, or maybe she was led to believe that she had fallen short of her parents’ expectations. Conditional love always has the potential to create feelings of needing to prove themselves. Whatever the cause, the belief was made.

How does this type of core belief impact a relationship?

These people can be clingy in love as their expectation is they will be left unless they’re good enough. They can also hide their true self for fear of being found out. There is an inclination to minimize their talents or potential for fear of failing. Maybe this is why Suzanna felt that the only way she could display her ability was to have more and more children. Presenting the desire to over achieve in order to avoid the risk of being criticised.

Their coping mechanism maybe denial and the consequence – unmet needs and a loss of identity.

Their behavior may show that they are grateful for the slightest show of affection and this can lead to the acceptance of unacceptable behavior and abuse.

All these traits result in an unequal partnership, with the potential for feeling unloved, unworthy and abandoned. All the things she was trying to avoid.

If you were brought up in an environment in which you didn’t trust the person or people close to you, so you didn’t feel safe, and/or you were physically, sexually, emotionally or verbally abused you can grow up with a core belief that people are not to be trusted and may even hurt you.

This type of core belief can lead you into relationships that are abusive and unsafe. The expectation being that you will be hurt. You may allow others to mistreat you because you think you deserve it. Sometimes this can lead you to hurt people before they hurt you. You can also be quite aloof, afraid of letting anyone get too close. Or you may be overly accommodating and compliant as a way to prevent the other person from being angry.

The coping mechanisms might be distancing and avoidance and the consequence being, unable to fully trust, therefore creating conflict in the relationship.

The behaviour displayed maybe angry, afraid and guarded in relationships.

When one of our core beliefs get triggered, our memories get activated, this releases emotions which make us feel threatened. As a result of the perceived threat, we can behave in a way that is completely out of proportion to the event. This type of reaction can cause its own problems in relationships.

Hopefully you can now see why it’s so important that you understand and recognise your core beliefs in order to have the best chance of surviving betrayal with the ability to create for yourself a healthy relationship in the future. Check out our blog on creating positive core beliefs that support a healthy you.

With hugs – Julia & Jacqui x