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What Happened to My Prince?

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Spiritual Healing for a Wounded Relationship

by Sirah Vettese, Ph.D.

about the author

Many women struggle to understand their partners and often have some of the following thoughts:

“My partner has a difficult time listening to what I have to say. Every time I bring up something that happened where he let me down and really upset and betrayed me, I can never get it out. He becomes defensive and needs to justify why he did what he did. I am still stuck feeling angry and resentful.”

“I feel as though my partner controls me. Money is a source of great conflict in my relationship. He makes more than I do so therefore feels I should meet his demands at home.”

“There is very little sexual fulfillment in my relationship. My partner has become detached and sealed off from me emotionally which leaves me feeling unresponsive to his advances for sex."

Sound familiar? These are words of three very different, very real and very frustrated women. In fact, millions of women struggle to understand their mates. While a man may at times be caring, fun, hardworking, loving and open - the unaware and unhealthy parts lives beneath the surface. He may have difficulty feeling deep emotions, making intimacy virtually impossible.

He may be a master at hiding his wounds and may even take pride in his ability to look perfect. Every issue that erupts is the woman’s problem, the woman’s fault. The “right time” for a sit-down dialogue never seems to present itself. I often hear comments such as, “I don’t think things will ever change. My partner doesn’t seem capable of giving emotionally.”

If you are longing for greater awareness and understanding in your relationship there are some important things to understand. Confusion and pain are not just a result of what men do to us, but more importantly what we do to ourselves in reaction to their behavior.

Women are not necessarily healthier than men. Many women are addicted to pain and have such fears of being left or abandoned that they allow behaviors which should not be tolerated. Women cause just as much pathology in relationships as men by claiming they are victims and continuing to live this way. To change your relationship have the courage to face the total truth of your life. You have within you a great source of power and strength. It is when you take full ownership of all your parts that you can affect change.

Your partner appeared at first to be a prince. For mysterious reasons, he touched something deep inside of you, satisfying a need or fulfilling a deep desire. Perhaps there was an element of danger to the relationship that fed your longings. Though impractical, you wanted it. What you didn’t realize was how much you were setting yourself up this prince to disappoint you. You fell deeply in love and were optimistic about the relationship, but ignored the inner messages of the enormous emotional work ahead of you.

Setting out unconsciously to experience adventure and excitement, you ended up in a wounded relationship. You attracted the very thing that now repels you. Why? Because that is where your greatest learning awaits - where the journey is exhilarating beyond your wildest dreams. Here are some ways to begin the healing process and reclaim the life you want. By focusing your attention on the positive things you can do to create change, rather than feeling stuck you will be able to have the love you deserve.

1. Allow his wounding to be your growth edge, your catalyst for change.

At its core all wounding is intricate, detailed, and chaotic. You are aware of the wild beast that appears to be tangled in his own web of woundedness. Your freedom will come when you explore why you have chosen this life mate, this life script. The reasons are deep, rich and beautifying to your soul.

Duality lives in every one of us - it is a force that rages, fights, destroys and conquers. Yet it also heals, supports, nurtures, and protects. All life is the integration of two polarities of energy. For any relationship to reach its full potential, the male and female energies must merge.

Your true identity is hidden in your own wounding. Your broken relationships hold all the clues to how you can heal old hurts and move on to release for all time the negative patterns of the past. If the weeds in your garden were ignored and you failed to pluck them, all the color, fragrance and beauty of the flowers would be overrun with a powerful destructive force that would twist itself around the beauty and engulf it.

Your own wounding is like a garden full of weeds. You must go into your garden with your sleeves rolled up, ready to face whatever you find. Begin by observing carefully, noticing the rhythms of your garden and identifying one by one the destructive forces that live there. Be willing to pluck out each weed and examine its relationship to the rest of the garden. How did it get there? Who brought it in? Why is it there? What are you meant to learn from its presence? Just as your wounding is painful and dark, your willingness to go into the dirt that holds your garden’s life force will unveil secrets about you and new pathways to beauty. You will be amazed at how much self esteem you feel by unveiling new secrets about your self.

2. Find Hidden Power through Awareness Rather Than Despair

There are no perfect relationships, no right or wrong answers, simply levels of commitment to growth throughout life. Find a new level of commitment toward yourself and reaching new understanding about your love relationship.

A common reaction women have to their pain of un-fulfillment is to turn the negativity inward. Often, when the relationship struggle is worsening, and there are no obvious signs of improvement, women tend to redirect their hurtful and angry feelings toward their own center. When they are not getting anywhere, they take their frustration out on themselves through self-negation, “if-only’s” and feelings of failure. Learn to be gentle with yourself regarding unresolved issues. Take a more loving and confident stand. Trust that the situation will eventually be worked out. Stay away from self-destructive behavior patterns, i.e. overeating, overworking, excessive drinking, casual sexual encounters, or becoming over-controlling.

In your heart, remain open and loving toward him as a person. Recognize all of the qualities that you like and that drew you to him in the first place. When your partner behaves in a hurtful or disrespectful way, pull back. Refuse to react or let what is happening affect you. Review the experience in private and validate your response. If you need to, write down all the details of the incident. As time passes you will notice a shift in his response. Because you are not reacting to him as you did in the past, he will start to view you differently. Don’t expect quick resolution. The dynamic between the two of you took years to form and will require time to unravel with plenty of patience.

3. Have Loving Intention

Intention is where it all begins. Intention is stronger than will because it can be set into action instantly. Even if your will was crushed at an early age, your intention will give you strength. It is through loving intention that loving choices are made and devotion expressed. Without loving intention, change does not occur. First and foremost, you must know that you have the power of love in your heart. When you do, intention will provide the follow-through. Intention is what ends disputes and breaks down the walls of fear, mistrust and misunderstanding that separate individuals, groups and nations. Intention is the tool with which our hearts dig down to places where the walls are thick with confusion and pain. Intention is as basic to lasting relationships as the earth is to the tree that grows from it.

Heaven within is dependent on the food of your intention, which is driven by your power. Always use your power for your own growth. Others will feel its ripple and grow with you. Use intention to direct your power and allow it to lead you to the next chapter of life.

Loving intention - the active, positive use of your heart’s energy - always leads to resolution.

You speed up your spiritual growth when you put loving intention before all other concerns. When you focus here you find purpose.

Often, the emptiness that we feel inside is directly related to lack of direction and purpose in our lives. If we supply the intention to love, suddenly our purpose becomes clear. We have a place to go!

You and only you, have the power to summon the courage to pursue your needs and dreams of a fulfilling love relationship. A certain kind of love for yourself can produce transcendence. Love is a series of actions you take to produce a result - security either with yourself or with your love partner. This kind of love promotes vulnerability, truth and trust. When you make the commitment to live your full potential in love, great things can happen to you.

Vetesse Articles at

Continue to Part 7: The 10 Commandments of Emotional Literacy

Back to Part 5: Attaining Emotional Literacy

 © Sirah Vettese, Ph.D., reprinted from the Foundation for Education with Emotional Literacy (FEEL), with permission.

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