Compatibility is such an important part of relationships; it’s importance cannot be overstated. If we were to define compatibility, we could say that it is when two things are able to exist or occur together in a state of harmony and without conflict. If two things are compatible, their co-existence is beneficial and ads to the wellbeing of each of them. When you properly assess someone’s compatibility, you can figure out what the right type of relationship is between you and them and you can figure out what the right relationship arrangement is between yourself and that person.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that compatibility is about sameness. What I mean by this is that people assume that they are compatible to someone if they are the same as that person. For example, if they have the same interests, opinions, strengths, likes and dislikes, goals, personality, priorities, beliefs, ambition, passions, philosophies etc. This is not true. Compatibility is more complex than this. Two things being the same might spell compatibility or two things being the same might spell incompatibility. Likewise, two things being different might spell compatibility or they might spell incompatibility. If you would like to dive into the subject of compatibility, you can watch three of my videos. The first is: Incompatibility, a Harsh Reality in Relationships. The second is: Accept Incompatibility to Avoid Relationship Hell. The third is: Why Compatibility in a Relationship is NOT about Sameness.
If we understand that compatibility is not always about sameness, sometimes it’s about differences, we can grasp the idea that often, an important element of compatibility in relationships is about compatible trauma.
People often make trauma bad and wrong and therefore anything that is linked to trauma, such as a desire or a behavior, bad and wrong. What people fail to see is that almost every person’s purpose is backed by trauma. And trauma doesn’t only play a role in the dysfunctionality, weakness and problems of people. It also plays a role in the functionality, strengths and advantages of people. To understand this more in depth, watch my videos titled: How Trauma Plays a Role in Purpose and The Trauma Healing Paradox. Trauma plays a big role therefore in the compatibility or lack thereof between people.
As a result of experiencing a certain kind of trauma, a person has a certain thing they need in order to heal. They also have certain desires. They also have certain strengths, aptitudes and advantages. When two people come together, their trauma (and all the things that come from it) might just make them compatible to each other or it might just make them incompatible to each other.
So that you can understand this concept here is an example. The first part of this example will demonstrate how the traumas that two people experienced can make them incompatible. The second part will demonstrate how the traumas two people experienced can make them compatible.
Archer was completely ignored in his childhood. There was always something more important for his parents to be focused on. He was expected to play alone. He was not allowed to have friends over, because his parents did not want to have to watch their own kids, much less other people’s. And they wouldn’t bother to drive him to other kid’s houses. As a result, Archer was totally alone in his pain and struggles and totally alone in his goals and desires too. If he wanted or needed anyone for anything, it didn’t matter. This gave rise to a deep desire for importance. He wants to be prioritized. He wants people to be available to him 24-7 and to be “all in it with him” in his life. He developed an intolerance for the elements in other people’s lives that compete against him for their attention. This trauma caused him to chase importance by becoming an important person and by developing an absolute achiever personality. Archer threw all his time and energy into becoming important by becoming the best. Today, he owns a law firm that is looking to monopolize entertainment law in his country.
Lena is Archer’s previous girlfriend. In Lena’s childhood, she was expected to take care of her mentally ill mother at a very young age. Her mother was not in the right state to parent Lena or to meet her needs. And because of the pressures of making sure her mom was alright all the time, Lena didn’t feel free to play. She developed incredible skills for caretaking someone and supporting them. But this trauma gave Lena the desire to be free to do whatever she wants whenever she wants to. It caused her to struggle with responsibility. It made her want a life that is about herself.
When Archer and Lena came together, it was a total disaster. At face value, Lena would be good for Archer and vice versa because she has developed such amazing skills to support someone and he has all the money to allow her to not have the responsibility of work. But the reality is that Lena started to re-traumatize Archer because she didn’t want to be available to him or make her life about him and what he is doing. She wanted to make her life about herself. She just took his money and started traveling with it and going shopping and attending events, all things that she made a higher priority than him. He felt used and abandoned by her. And Archer started to re-traumatize Lena because he didn’t want her to go focus on her needs and desires. He wanted her to want to focus on him and his needs. He put pressure on Lena to revolve her life around him. She felt smothered and controlled by him. They both experienced a repeat of their original traumas. And due to those traumas, they are very incompatible regarding what they want and need in relationships and in their lives.
Sage however, is another story. Sage is Archer’s wife. In Sage’s childhood, she was constantly pushed away by her parents. They were very poor and worked all hours of the day and they found raising a child to be a burden on top of their already burdened lives. Sage could never build intimacy with her family and she never felt included by them. She felt alone in the world with no purpose. As a result, she developed a strong sense of personal responsibility. Also, an insatiable desire to be a part of something with purpose and included in someone’s world and life. When Archer and Sage came together, they fit together like peanut butter and jelly. Sage started to heal Archer because she jumped out of bed to focus on him and on supporting him every morning. She had no interest in being somewhere else. She wanted to be included in every little thing. There was nothing in her life that was competing against him for attention. And she made her whole life revolve around his. He finally had someone truly with and for him in his life. His need to be the priority and have the attention and focus was finally being satiated.
Archer started to heal Sage because he always needed and wanted her around and with him. Archer never, I mean never pushed Sage away. He would call her into whatever room he was in, and shut the door and pour all of his most intimate thoughts and feelings out, giving her the intimacy she’d always wanted. If he was ever away, he would call and text her constantly. And he involved her in every big goal he had, asking her to run errands for it and brainstorm about it. Sage was finally a part of something with purpose. She felt held so tight by him that all of her issues of feeling alone in life were gone. Her need to be included and have a sense of purpose and to be an integral, needed and wanted part of someone’s life was finally being satiated.
After seeing this example, you can easily see how trauma plays a big role in compatibility or incompatibility. Nothing creates conflicts in relationships like incompatibility involving traumas. So, it could be said that if you want a compatible relationship, no matter what kind of relationships it is, find someone whose trauma is compatible with yours.