Interlocking Relationship Problems

Hello beautiful people, my name is Athol, talking about marriage, relationships and getting what you want from them.

In yesterday’s video I talked about the concept of the Lead Domino. A core structural problem in your life, usually coming from your childhood in some way, that then goes on to create problems and work arounds resulting in the giant Tangled Mess your life is. But it’s always the Lead Domino starting that whole chain of events.

I’m going to talk a little bit about how it’s hard sometimes to exactly find what your particular Lead Domino is, and how it interacts with your partner’s Lead Domino, and why those two problems are often an interlocking puzzle that results in the full Tangled Mess of your relationship.

Let’s start with an example.

Say that you’re a guy and when you were growing up, when you were seven years old, your father cheated on your mother, divorced her and left her for the other woman. Ever since then your mother’s been a basket case, very emotional, very anxious, very upset, hard to live with, she barrages you with emotion and you’ve spent your entire childhood walking on eggshells. Just trying to pacify and please the important female figure in your life. Totally trying to be the good boy to grow up to be the good man, the opposite of the bad man that your father was. So here you are, totally programmed from an early age to be a Nice Guy, walk on eggshells and try and basically pacify the significant woman you’re with.

So that’s your Lead Domino and that goes on to affect your life in many, many ways.

Then you meet the girl that turns out to be your wife and she has her own set of problems too. Let’s say she was sexually abused in some way when she was young. She’s anxious about people getting too close to her. She’s worried about people and taking advantage of her and treating her poorly. Also the family she grew up in was struggling to make ends meet, and she is always anxious about money. So she has this Lead Domino driving her to be anxious, always to be on edge. She struggles with a mixture of being avoidant and yet wanting people to be close to her and give her love.

So you need to find someone to put in a magical cocoon and endlessly walk on eggshells around them. She needs someone to put her in a magic cocoon and always walk on eggshells around her. Thus your two Lead Dominos link together. That linking together of problems can create a bad relationship but also a really stable one, because unconsciously both of you are playing your roles. When one of you tries to break out of those roles the other one tends to try and reel them back in.

When you’re in this type of situation, it tends to be easy to see what’s wrong with your partner, because they’re always the one making demands of you to act a certain way. It’s easy to see your partner as the primary blame for the whole Tangled Mess.

It’s very common when I start coaching someone they will see what their partner does, as a good 80 or 90% of what is wrong with the relationship. Seeing their part as maybe 10 or 20%. It’s not usually a 50/50 split, but quite often it’s at least a 60/40 or a 55/45 sort of split. Often they can look back at the very beginning of the relationship and see themselves more clearly as “I was really needy at that time. I needed someone to meet my issue.”

The good news in all of this, is once you start seeing they have their big thing and you have our big thing, that frees you up from blaming them. It frees you up from demonizing them as the vampire of the relationship and painting you as the victim in the relationship. It can take away a lot of the anger and resentment, and that’s a huge step forward in terms of being positive and hopeful for the future.

Also you have so greater ability to work on your own stuff, as opposed to try and leverage your partner into working on their stuff. Very often it’s when you finally stop focusing on them, and start start making the changes in yourself, you finally start unbalancing the relationship to that make your partner finally realize they need to start doing something about their own issues.

There’s a natural balance of power in every relationship and you upset that balance, by finally becoming more powerful in yourself, stronger, happier, more content. By maximizing your energy and attractiveness and happiness, you effect relationship change. That’s what breaks up a bad but stable situation and at least gets you to the neutral but unstable one. I’ve talked about that in videos before.

So that’s why it’s sometimes so hard to see what your actual issue is, what you need to work on, because we all get tunnel vision on what’s wrong with our partner.

So that’s about it. Going to leave it there. Please like, share, comment and most importantly please do subscribe. And I will talk to you tomorrow.


  1. Cameron Stoner says

    Where on the map categories does working on the domino lie? ie: If you lack confidence it’s your frame in the dha category.

    • atholkay says

      It’s usually a deeper problem rooted in childhood somewhere. Think of it as a very serious red area.

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