The following is an excerpt from the new book by Joan E. Childs, I Hate the Man I Love: A Conscious Relationship Is Your Key to Success. With more than 50% of marriages ending in divorce, it is essential to learn how to create and maintain a conscious relationship. So many relationships don’t survive due to early childhood wounds carried into adulthood. Childs brings her readers into her therapy sessions and illustrates how to transform the polluted space into a healthy relationship.

What is a conscious relationship? The answer doesn’t suddenly emerge out of the blue.  It is not acquired in a moment, a year or even for many in a lifetime.  It takes a genuine commitment to create and maintain conscious relationships as individuals and as couples. 

My book, I Hate the Man I Love: A Conscious Relationship Is Your Key to Success, reveals the essence of a secure attachment. So many of us never experienced the feeling of belonging or being loved unconditionally.  So many of my clients have been deprived of feeling that they mattered in their childhood.  They grew up feeling less than, shame-based and underserving, spending their lives looking for love in all the wrong places.  Void of self-value, guidance, understanding and nurturing, they grew making poor choices.  You can only truly love another when you first have a loving relationship with yourself.  Not having supportive, healthy parenting leaves many holes in the soul.  A child learns that he/she matters by how they are valued and loved. Feeling unlovable paves the way for future insecure attachments.  It takes a secure attachment to have a conscious relationship!

My dear friend and colleague, Judith, for whom I dedicated my book, asks these questions:

“What is love, and what does it feel like to be ‘securely attached?’  I am referring to love and secure attachment on an ‘essence or soul level rather than on an ‘ego level’. She goes on the say:

  • Feeling loved for who I am, not what I do,
  • Feeling safe, feeling secure and that someone will protect me,
  • Feeling seen, heard,
  • Feeling able to be vulnerable.

All this and more are in my book, but to get the full meaning, I suggest you begin from the beginning.

Those never having had a secure attachment will spend their entire lives seeking it and choosing partners unable to fill their insatiable wounds. It’s what Freud called “repetition compulsion”, the need to repeat and what psychiatrist, Alice Miller calls, “the logic of absurdity.” The movie, ROCKETMAN exemplifies the meaning of an insecure attachment as Elton John seeks the love he never had as a child.  The wounds of our childhood can only be resolved by our adult selves.  It takes intensive therapy to reclaim, heal and champion your inner child.  The emotional scars that linger throughout our most precious and impressionable years, prevent us from finding what we missed when we needed it most.

When couples learn the principles and rituals of healing their relationships, miracles happen.  It takes time to re-connect with relational maturity. It takes effort to cleanse the polluted relational space. After all, isn’t that what we all want…to be connected–to learn the language and landscape of the face of our partner? It takes a commitment to move the relationship forward with both declaring “I’m all in”! It takes courage, resilience, and determination from each of the partners. Without the willingness of both, it cannot work. It’s not easy—but nothing worth fighting for ever is. 

“Out beyond ideas of wrong-doing and right-doing, there is a field. 
I’ll meet you there.”
– Jalal al-Din Rumi

I Hate the Man I Love: A Conscious Relationship Is Your Key to Success is now available for purchase on Amazon Kindle and paperback on October 11, 2020.


  • Joan E. Childs, LCSW

    Psychotherapist, Author and Inspirational Speaker

    Joan E. Childs, LCSW is a renowned psychotherapist, inspirational speaker and author. She has been in private practice in South Florida since 1978 specializing in both individual and couple’s therapy. Her books include I HATE THE MAN I LOVE: A Conscious Relationship is Your Key to Success, WHY DID SHE JUMP? My Daughter’s Battle with Bipolar Disorder and THE MYTH OF THE MAIDEN: On Being a Woman. Joan specializes in couples therapy using many modalities including Encounter-centered Couples Therapy, Imago Relationship Therapy, PAIRS (Practical Application of Intimate Relationship Skills), as well as many others. She is also an expert in Codependency, Inner Child Work, Original Pain Work and Second Stage Recovery. After nearly 40 years in private practice healing the wounds of clients who’s lives had been fractured from personal traumas, she has taken her personal and professional knowledge, skills and experience to serve as an inspirational keynote speaker. As a professional speaker specializing in women’s issues, couple and family relationships, self-actualization and grief and loss, she has the qualifications and credibility to impact her audiences and effect positive change. Joan has appeared on many radio and television shows including Oprah and before live audiences. She produced her own television show, SOLUTIONS to provide education and resources to the community on mental health. Joan was chosen to be the first affiliate of the John Bradshaw Center in the United States and is a consultant to many corporations, hospitals, universities and academic institutions. In 2014 she completed a three year Master’s Class training with Hedy Schleifer and received her certification for ENCOUNTER-CENTERED COUPLE’S THERAPY. Learn more about Joan at