It’s Not You, It’s Me.

… No, seriously it really is. This has happened too many times to be a coincidence.

This is a continuation of the series “Relationships”.
Previous blogs in this series:


There comes a time in every reasonable man’s life when he must face certain unequivocal truths in light of overwhelming evidence despite how unsettling it may be.

As someone who has experienced the same pattern of getting into relationships and the quickly experiencing the relationship break down and then spinning into a depression and a dry spell only to do it all over again with the next potential relationship partner – there can be no escaping from two possible explanations.


A. The International Conspiracy of Past and Future Girlfriends

pussycatAll of the women in my life are acting in concerted effort to accurately reproduce the same relationship experience over and over. They hold meetings and compare notes and time themselves to show up in my life at regular intervals. Many of them operate as sleeper agents posing as friends that I have known for years until they are “activated” – at which point they carry out their mission of getting into a relationship with me, replaying the exact same relationship patterns, and ending the relationship in exactly that way that will ensure that I go into a depression.

B. It’s not them. It’s me

  istock_000007951394mediumThe common denominator in all of my past relationships being myself, it stands to reason that I am recreating the patterns and bringing them into the relationships that I get into. Regardless of who the partner is and how different each one is to another – the only way that the same patterns keep emerging is if I am the source from which these patterns play out.

Being a man of sound reasoning I am inclined to go with B. despite the temptation of ego stroking that option A provides. I mean, how do they get funded? And how are they so well coordinated? Why go through all that trouble just for me? Okay but seriously now…


I am the Problem – But Why?

Growing up with an abusive mother (read previous blog), I quickly learned to stifle and suppress my emotions and essentially cut myself off from that ‘side’ of myself.

I remember having to push my anger and frustration down deeper and deeper within me and to not express my feelings when my mother would beat me or berate me sometimes for hours on end – because any sign of reaction from me would tend to make the experience worse and prolonged. I learned that by keeping it all down and simply waiting for it to pass was the best option.

“For me, my oft recurring emotions throughout childhood have had the nature of feeling unloved, feeling lonely, broken, unworthy, incompetent. Now imagine that constantly running the the background like ambient music that over time you stop noticing because of how familiar it has become to you, and you will perhaps understand why I often struggled with shaking off the echoes of this repeating record that was the soundtrack to my life for the past two decades.”

This worked well for that specific context – but unfortunately this also became part of my deep seated defense mechanisms growing into adulthood where that specific context no longer applies.

One of the problems with this defense mechanism in adult life is that I then found it very difficult to communicate clearly my wants and needs, and also found that I was not able to address and deal with my emotional swings.

When it comes to emotions – particularly emotions that come up repeatedly and are repeatedly suppressed, is that they become more and more deeply rooted into who we are even to a physiological level. It can get to a point where in just one moment you can find yourself lost in an overwhelming emotional experience and not see a way out – and not even question whether or not this experience is in fact valid because the possessive nature of it can be so complete.

For me, my oft recurring emotions throughout childhood have had the nature of feeling unloved, feeling lonely, broken, unworthy, incompetent. Now imagine that constantly running the the background like ambient music that over time you stop noticing because of how familiar it has become to you, and you will perhaps understand why I often struggled with shaking off the echoes of this repeating record that was the soundtrack to my life for the past two decades.

So what did this mean for me and my intimate partners? Here are some of the classics. You might remember some of the insecurity in relationships greatest hits like:

  • Irrationally feeling unloved or unappreciated despite any evidence, and then acting out on this emotional experience and projecting onto my partner that they are “cold” and “distant” and uncaring.
  • Erratically distancing myself when feeling a need for attention that my partner was not giving, and thus wanting to see if the partner can ‘pick up’ on this instead of me communicating and sharing clearly.
  • Trusting the feelings of being unloved, uncared for, unappreciated and acting as if they were valid without any clear evidence of it being so.
  • Reading into everything with a starting point of believing my emotions are valid, and thus looking for evidence to prove why my partner in fact does not care about me and is not as invested in the relationship as I am.

Not surprising then that given this kind of self fulfilling insecurity the trend line of my relationships plots a steady rate of decline.


It Is Time to Commit to Someone Special

“…it is often tempting to find a partner that does not have the issues or flaws we have. Indeed this tends to add to the experience of “attraction” we feel towards other people who exhibit or represent aspects of ourselves that we feel we are lacking. But the problem here is just because our partner has not had to develop the same kinds of coping and defense mechanisms that we have, does NOT mean that they will know how to work with us, how to help us, how to give us the specific kind of support that we need – because they may have no actual reference to be able to relate to what we are working with.”

There is a person that each and every human being on this earth needs to connect with and stick with. This person will understand who we are and be able to relate to what we are going through and will always support us and know just what to do when things get tough. This person is ourselves – and for many the search for this person is a leading factor for why we end up looking for love in all the wrong places.

This isn’t about generating feelings of love or affection towards ourselves. This is about intimacy from the perspective of fully embracing who we are – which includes all of the fears, anxieties, judgments, and flaws so that we can understand how we created ourselves to be the way that we are – what defense mechanisms did we adapt during our lives in contexts that were appropriate then but no longer appropriate now?

The point here is – if we do not know how to address our specific and unique needs and wants, or how to work with our weaknesses and flaws – then it is not likely that we will be able to show our partner how to do the same.

And while on the subject of prospective partners – it is often tempting to find a partner that does not have the issues or flaws we have. Indeed this tends to add to the experience of “attraction” we feel towards other people who exhibit or represent aspects of ourselves that we feel we are lacking. But the problem here is just because our partner has not had to develop the same kinds of coping and defense mechanisms that we have, does NOT mean that they will know how to work with us, how to help us, how to give us the specific kind of support that we need – because they may have no actual reference to be able to relate to what we are working with.


So where is all of this leading to?

There is absolutely no good reason why a person should feel they are unloved or unworthy or unable to create and develop a supportive, nurturing, satisfying relationship even if they are someone like myself with a seemingly “troubled” history.

The keys to success in relationships are unique to each individual – and each individual needs to firstly develop a sense of self-intimacy where we get to know deeply the story we have been telling ourselves all our lives when it comes to who we are and what we are to expect in our intimate relationship with others. We need to be able to look deep into the source code of our programming that often stem from our early childhood, but also we need the tools to be able to identify the sections that no longer serve us and to write a new script for what we want to create and how we are going to change.

The tools that I have been using all these years are the tools that can be found at Desteni wherein you are introduced to supportive self-writing, developing self-intimacy and self-honesty, and the practical tools of self-forgiveness and self-change. Notice the emphasis on “self”?

For me it was through challenging my deeper sets of core beliefs that I was able to see the issues and problems that I was carrying into the relationships I was creating, and it was through this process of deep introspection and forgiveness that I was able to start seeing solutions whereas before there was only depression and a sense of powerlessness.

So what has my “special someone” done for me lately?

  • Discovering ways to articulate my needs/wants without emotions.
  • Understanding the roots of my struggles when it comes to emotions and feelings of unworth and insecurity.
  • Knowing how to support myself, and thus how to help my partners to support me rather than becoming upset or despondent when I experience my partners not relating to me or not understanding me implicitly.
  • Stopping the cycle of depression and long lonely dry spells when a relationship ends and to instead find ways to expand and grow from each experience rather than diminish and spiral into depression.
  • Getting to know the key points of how I create frictions and conflicts in my relationships so that I can prevent them in the future.

Not bad – I think I may have found “the one” in my special someone.


Find the Support You Need

If you are struggling with your relationship or are currently wondering why relationships haven’t worked out for you, I highly suggest checking out the series “Relationship Success Support” as well as the Desteni Agreement course where you will develop your self-intimacy and your relationship with yourself – so that any relationship you walk into will be built upon a solid foundation of self-intimacy from the very beginning.

Getting Self Honest with Relationships

… and why I am not good at them.

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When you are someone that grew up with a difficult, unstable, or perhaps in some ways abusive childhood in which your primary caregiver is someone who instills in you fear, insecurity, doubt, pain, or any similarly negative experience, then chances are you are someone like myself who has a difficult time creating, maintaining, and fostering healthy intimate relationships.

The old cliché image of a patient sitting in a therapist’s office comes to mind here.

Patient: “Doctor, I have trouble with getting into and staying in healthy relationships”. 

Doctor: “Hmm… interesting. Tell me about your relationship with your mother.”

It was only recently that I began to take a more serious and less sarcastic look at the connection between mothers and sons – and how this primary relationship can become the bedrock and foundation upon which all future intimate relationships with female partners would be built upon.

We understand now that the first 7 years of a child’s life are a critically important time in which the child begins building the framework for their future, often times establishing in these early years the habits, principles, and overall worldview that they will later embody into adult life. (See the series “Parenting – Perfecting the Human Race” for details)

But what happens when during those first 7 years, a child’s life is one of instability and emotional distress? How does this influence that child’s development in terms of their self confidence, their worldview, and their ability to communicate and establish intimacy with others? May I present to you Exhibit A: Yours truly.


Our First Love? 

One of the most important relationships that we have is the relationship with our primary caregiver. This relationship sets the tone for what it means to relate to another human being. It sets the starting point of what to expect and defines to rules of how to communicate your needs and have your needs met. But more importantly it sets the foundation for whether or not we regard others as being trustworthy, dependable people and whether we should develop ways to reach out to them, or whether we need to develop protections and evasive defenses to protect ourselves from perceived hostility.

My mother was someone who would be very emotional. Her tempers would be erratic, unpredictable, and very intense especially to the eyes of a young child. I remember living day to day in fear of her next outburst which could come without notice, and how she would express her anger and frustration toward me in a way where I would not understand why she was angry, why I was being yelled at or regarded as though I had done something wrong, and never understanding what I was or was not supposed to do – because often it was not about me at all, but rather things that she was going through in her own personal life that she did not have the tools or the awareness to work through, and so would spill over to the next closest target – which happened to be her son.

My mother’s method of coping was such that she would externally act out the things she was facing internally – and unfortunately this would come out in the form of physical hitting/beating and verbal abuse through name calling, making hurtful/spiteful statements, etc.

The point here is not to blame my mother – I am giving context here so that I can explain the design of me as a person who grew up under those conditions and the various ways that I developed as means of protection towards what I felt was a hostile environment.


Insecure Attachment 

Growing up, what began to become a repeating cycle in me were thoughts of anger and feeling powerless towards my mother – and what made the experience more intense was the fact that I felt that I was not allowed to express my anger or frustrations while she had free reign to become angry and yell and beat me. As a young child, we are fully at the mercy of our caregiver – we are without defense from physical harm from the ones who we depend on for protection.

And so began the process of me developing the defensiveness, timidness, and insecurity that would become my method of coping – but would also become part of the challenge I would face in my future intimate relationships.

Feeling unloved and that there must be something wrong with me – feeling that no matter what, the female that I am most intimately close with will abuse me or abandon me or take advantage of my trust while still being the only source for support and comfort is not an easy thing to process as an adult – let alone as a child.

So what would happen in my future intimate relationships would be the very same defensive mechanisms I used to cope with my mother would come up – where I would find myself playing out the same trauma, the same fear, the same insecurity and inferiority that eventually snuffs out whatever spark originally brought about a new relationship in my life.

While in a relationship, at the back of my mind would come the same thought patterns like a record stuck on repeat:

“I am not good enough. She is going to leave me for someone else.”

“I cannot measure up. She deserves someone better.”

“I don’t know why she is settling for me. She will never be happy with me. I can never be enough for her.”

And to add on top of that, would be an element of constantly imagining and projecting the worst case scenarios and reading into every little thing to see if my fears were in any way valid. If my partner spends some time with an ex I go into a tailspin and wonder why she isn’t creating a distance between herself and him. Or if she does not want to be physically intimate with me all of the time then that must mean she is tired of me and wants me gone and is already thinking about leaving me.

Another pattern that comes up is when I would sometimes irrationally distance myself and accuse my partner of being “cold”. I would at the same time want them to comfort me, reassure me, but also at the same time I want distance from them and to retreat back into a safe space alone.

Suffice to say, these patterns make it nigh impossible to sustain or foster openness, trust, intimacy, sharing, or giving my partner the space that she needs when I am constantly in a state of fear of loss and needing constant reassurance – which by the way is a major turn off in a relationship especially when it comes to the male.

The funny thing is – we don’t often get what we deserve. But we very often get what we expect. Each of us deserve to have a supportive and nurturing intimate partnership with someone. But if we constantly expect for things to not work out, then we find ways to make that expectation true.


Understanding the System

“While our primary caregivers do play a vital part in how we will create the relationships of our future, there is one more relationship that is even more important. And that is the relationship we have with ourselves – with our fears, our insecurities, our judgments, and our defenses.”

The good news is – for anyone thinking this is a post about giving up on creating a stable relationship or how we cannot overcome our past – that the condition of insecure attachment is NOT permanent, nor is it unchangeable.

Being able to understand how we have set ourselves up this way is the first step. If we cannot be self-honest with our relationship patterns and the story we have been telling ourselves about our self-worth, then how can we expect to develop a relationship with someone else?

We do not have to continue reliving the same traumas of our past. And we do not have to keep waiting for relationships to come about in order to face those traumas.

While our primary caregivers do play a vital part in how we will create the relationships of our future, there is one more relationship that is even more important. And that is the relationship we have with ourselves – with our fears, our insecurities, our judgments, and our defenses.

We can learn to give ourselves the things we perceive we need and can only obtain from others. We can stop the cycle of compromising ourselves, our values, in order to please someone else enough that they will not leave us and manifest our own fear of loss and fear of loneliness. We can develop ourselves to become whole and abundant instead of desperate and broken. We can transform the relationships we create with others if we are willing to transform the relationship we are creating with ourselves.


How exactly does that work?

Developing self-awareness and self-honesty through writing and the tool of self-forgiveness. This is not about getting ourselves to “feel better” when we lose a relationship so that we can create another one just like it. This is not about “transcending” relationships and never going into another one again. This is about getting to the core of why those of us who struggle with creating lasting intimate relationships tend to create the same situations over and over – and to release those unresolved traumas of our own past so that we can be free to truly create the future we want instead of recreating the past we still haven’t let go of.

That is exactly what I am doing now – and that is what I will continue sharing.

For anyone struggling with relationships, I highly recommend the series Relationship Success Support which goes very deeply into all dimensions of relationships – whether it is intimacy, sex, jealousy, or deep seated issues that we may never have considered before. Do yourself and your partner (or future partner) the gift of empowering yourself in relationships so that you can be and share the best version of you possible with your significant other, or with your relationship with yourself.

About Me

After a decade of self investigation, I am still finding more about myself.

I am a person who has spent the last decade involved in what many would call “inner work”. While there are many brands and schools of thought when it comes to “inner work”, the specific path I chose was the path laid forth by the group known as Desteni.

But this is not a blog that is about Desteni as much as it is about who I am and what I have learned and developed for myself in having applied the tools and teachings of Desteni.

There are many real life experiences – some of which I am certain many can relate to – that I will share in this blog, with the addition of including the process I have walked in order to give an accurate accounting of the power of self-honesty and self-forgiveness and how the development of self-awareness has forever changed the way I see the world and myself.

“It is these stories of personal struggles, frustrations, and the blood, sweat, and tears that come from any serious labor that I will share.”

But of course – having the ability to understand how my mind functions, where my emotions and feelings really come from, and seeing the bigger picture of what awareness actually implies does not automatically make my life simpler or cause my struggles and fears to subside. It is these stories of personal struggles, frustrations, and the blood, sweat, and tears that come from any serious labor that I will share.

I share in part to show people to not be afraid of the challenges we must face when getting down into the core truths of ourselves, and in part to prevent if possible the painful and longer path of consequence that some may be spared by reading and learning from my mistakes.