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
All 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
The 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.