Do you have a repeating patterns in your relationships? Do you try to do everything differently, but somehow end up with the same relationship outcome – either single or in a struggling relationship, with the same fights and issues?
If you see that you have negative patterns in relationships, then it has likely occurred to you that you are the common denominator, because it keeps happening to YOU. Something you are putting into the relationship equation is creating your patterns.
If you are creating the patterns, then you have the power to stop and create something different. But to change your patterns, you first need to be able to see and understand them, to see how you create them and why.
To get at how you create your relationship patterns you need to look at your childhood.
Many people do not want to look backwards, but would rather live life forward. Many want to leave the past is the past, not wanting to go digging in what’s already happened. However, our relationship patterns are set early in life, by the age of 5. Therefore looking backwards and doing productive change work on your childhood is the only way to deeply uproot and change your relationship patterns.
Why You Date and Marry Your Parents
In essence, people tend to attract partners who are very much like their parents, specifically the parent of the opposite gender.
If your opposite gender parent was unavailable, critical, controlling, dismissive, or abusive, you are very likely to have relationships with partners who cause you the same kind of pain. Even if your opposite gender parent was loving and supportive, you could still end up with relationship issues. You may have relationships with wonderful partners and yet find that they fail to meet your expectations, or that none are good enough for you.
Why do we choose partners who are like our parents? Here are three reasons:
• Comfort and familiarity – the feeling of knowing someone right away
People with traits similar to your opposite gender parent may feel familiar to you. You may not realize that this feeling of familiarity is not a good thing. It may feel comfortable, but it’s not a safe kind of comfort, as it will produce the same kind of pain you experienced in your childhood.
• Seeking to resolve childhood pain, without knowing you are doing so
Parents who are less than loving unintentionally leave behind lifelong wounds in their children. These wounds may be well hidden in all areas but love relationships. That childhood pain wants to be resolved, which is why people often choose partners people who will reject them or hurt them the same way their parent did. The unconscious hope is to overcome the rejection and to MAKE this person love you, so that the childhood pain can be finally healed.
• Working through family history in relationship/marriage
Similar to above, people will often attract partners who are like their parents in order to come to terms and learn to survive that kind of pain. It’s as if they are reliving their childhood, but this time they think they will overcome, heal and that will somehow set them free from the early-in-life pain.
Keep in mind that these three reasons are often subconscious. No one finds a partner like his or her opposite gender parent on purpose.
What you should do to keep your childhood from affecting your relationship
If you keep having relationships with partners who cause you pain – or with partners who always disappoint you – you need to learn to recognize your relationship patterns and work through them in an effective and healing way.
You need to understand that even though relationship patterns feel natural, breaking them – making different partner and/or relationship behavior choices – is possible. To break and change your relationship patterns you need to do deep work on your subconscious, pre-verbal, or nonverbal self.
This kind of work requires professional help, as it’s not something you can accomplish on your own. It is nearly impossible to see your subconscious from inside yourself. You need an impartial person to observe the shadows of your patterns and point them out to you, before you can get at the patterns to break and change them.
There are two choices of professional help if you are ready to work on your relationship patterns.
Therapy: If you choose therapy, be sure to choose a therapist who knows how to get deep work like this done in a short time. It should take about six months to change your relationship patterns. If the right work is getting done, you should start to feel better and lighter after the first session. You should notice small shifts and new relationship choices right away.
Coaching: You can work with me on breaking your dating or relationship patterns. Breaking and changing relationship patterns is some of the kind of change-work I do with clients in coaching. It takes about six months to get at and uproot your relationship patterns. In the process singles naturally start to gravitate to better partners. Men and women in relationship or marriage begin to naturally make better relationship choices. The change starts to happen right away as we get to work immediately, even in the process of getting to know you.
Please know that if your relationship life does not work the way you would like, you have negative relationship patterns running it in the background. You can change these patterns, and have the kind of a relationship you want, if you are willing to do the work to see the patterns, understand why you have them and do the deep work to change them.
- Tired of being single?
- Tired of dating the wrong people?
- Frustrated with lack of connection and/or passion in your relationship or marriage?
- Done with feeling pain of breakup or divorce?
Find out how you can get a jump-start creating THE relationship you want in a Get Clarity Coaching Session. Your dating or relationship experiences will change FOR THE BETTER!
Further reading: Read this CNN article to get more ideas about how your parents affect your relationships.