Family constellations as a chance to understand our relationships

Or – could we prevent a relationship from breaking down?

In the health sector we put more and more importance on prevention. I was asking myself – why don’t we consider this when it comes to emotional aspects?


Mark and Denise (names changed for privacy reasons) were two young people who had fallen in love. Before they met both of them had lived in unhappy relationships which they had left before getting to know each other. So nothing seemed to stand between them and they were heading towards a happy future together. Or at least they thought so.

The first year everything was fine but slowly the situation changed. Denise felt more and more unloved by Mark while he was emotionally withdrawing from her and frequent disputes were daily fare. They were close to breaking up their initially promising relationship when they heard about family constellations.

In the constellation it showed up that Mark was still somehow connected with his former partner without being aware of it. Though there was no more contact between them and she had never blamed him for leaving the relationship he still felt subconsciously guilty for having left her alone in a very difficult situation.

Resolving this issue in the constellation Mark could let go his feelings of guilt, acknowledging his former partnership and its importance and then turn again to Denise and now commit fully to his relationship with her.

This story – and there are thousands of the same kind showing up in Family Constellations all over the world – makes me think of how many tears and how much pain could be saved if people decided to have a look at their relationship from the very start or at least from the moment when they decide to share their lives.

This is not about trust or distrust and not about making our relationships 100% secure. This is about respect and acknowledgement of what has been – two bricks definitely needed to build a healthy relationship on. And it is about fairness and love towards our new partners when we have the courage to look back and find out if we are really free to start a new lasting relationship.

No matter if it is a former partner, an unresolved connection with our parents or some subconscious loyalty with another family member – when we reveal what is hidden we can acknowledge, accept and then let go.

I really wonder if we had still this high number of divorces and separations if couples (and only one partner would be enough) used the wonderful support of a Family Constellation as a preventive measure before the trouble starts.