Saturday, July 2, 2011

Free Child communication in relationships

As a marriage or couples counsellor a common problem one sees is about the Free Child in relationships. In terms of the perceived quality of a relationship or a relationship that is wanted by both parties then these types of transactions must occur at least some of the time.


To understand such a diagram just think of a relationship which you like and enjoy and have a desire to be involved in. It is highly likely you have just identified a relationship in your life that has a significant amount of Free Child transactions between you and the other party.

In the honeymoon stage of a relationship these types of transactions occur quite often. Of course a solid relationship involves much more than just FC to FC transactions but my point here is that if a relationship does not have such communication then it will tend to fall on hard times. If there is very little then the ‘end is nigh’ often.

End is nigh

As a marriage counsellor one often sees couples who present with this type of communication problem, few FC transactions. This often occurs because the Free Child of both parties have ‘left the building’ as they say. The sensitive part of the personality has retreated into hiding for some reason.

Elvis leaving
Elvis leaving the building

In particular there are two common scenarios where this happens and presents a very real and difficult situation for the couple. This is often presented in marriage counselling and guess what they both involve sex and drugs! Why you may ask, because both sex and drugs often involve a degree of Free Child if not lots of Free Child.

Level of libido of a couple. If the couple have these combinations then sex is not going to be so much of a problem or at least it is a very good start for the couple not having difficulties in their sexual relationship. Both parties are either:

Low & low
Medium & medium
High & high

If they are either

Low & medium
Medium & high

then there is the potential for some degree of problem. If they are

Low & high

then there is a very real possibility of difficulties.

Woman & dog.

Why is this so? Because the Free Child is going to be affected. If the male has a high libido and the female has a low libido (which is usually the combination) then they have a significant problem that could contribute to destroying the relationship.

He is going to be asking for sexual contact often (or at least feel the desire to ask often). She is going to want much less. If she says yes when she wants to say no, it wont be long before her FC starts to retreat into the distance. She is having intimate physical sexual contact when she does not want it and the FC is not going to tolerate that for very long at all.

If she says no when she wants to say no (which will be often due to the different levels of libido) then one problem is solved but another is created. Her FC will feel satisfied but his wont be. His FC will feel ‘ripped off’ in some way. If this is occasional it does not matter all that much. But if it is happening most days what will happen after 5, 10 or 15 years? His FC is going to have disappeared in a similar fashion long ago.

A very real and difficult problem for a couple.

Ski race
Cooperation in the relational

Alcohol and drugs
The most common scenario is the male likes a drink or a smoke and the wife finds him unpleasant or repugnant when he is intoxicated. The wife may say things like:

“He is embarrassing when he has been drinking”
“He snores loudly when he has been drinking”
“It is bad for the kids to see him like that”
“He may drive while intoxicated”

and so forth

So she asks, demands, threatens that he does not drink or use drugs (or significantly reduces the use). If he obliges and stops then her FC needs are met but this creates another problem. His FC will feel ‘ripped off’ in some way. If he continues to drink then his FC needs are meet but her FC will retreat into the distance.

After this occurring for 10 years what is likely to happen? Either one or both FC ego states have disappeared out of the relationship and probably do not even want to come back.

A very real and difficult problem for a couple.

In both these instances there are no winners. No matter which solution you take both parties loose in the long run.

It is best if the couple do not allow it to become such a large issue in the relationship. That’s easy for a bystander to say when not directly involved in it. Also most couples do not realise it is becoming a big issue until it gets there. And as I have said before most couples actually get into couples counselling 6 to 12 months late when the small issues have evolved into the very communication style of the couple. It is best to get to the problem when it is still relationship dystonic not when it has evolved into a relationship syntonic problem.



  1. Sex and drugs? Are you serious? That's what a marriage is made up of... Sex and drugs?

    Tony... really...

  2. Well I could not have put that better myself Roses! but marriage is actually made of one other component as well my Aussie friend.

    Sex + drugs + caravaning = marriage