Is there a way to not make the same relationship mistakes?
We all have that one friend that seems to be unlucky at love.
Maybe you are the one who always seems to make the same relationship mistakes?
Maybe you have repeating patterns in your own relationship that keep you wondering, “Why does this always happen?” “Why doesn’t this ever change?”
My client, Jason, grew up in a household with a father that was a bully. He was always angry about something and it was always someone else’s fault. So it was often his mother, himself, or one of his siblings that was on the receiving end of that anger.
He was volatile and unpredictable. Jason’s mom never knew if what she said was going to set him off, and most every time she tried to express a need it turned into a heated argument. They would yell at one another and sometimes he would throw things. Both of them would walk away and hide from the conversations that needed to take place and then eventually, within a few days, things would g back to “normal” before the cycle repeated itself.
Jason learned early on that the best way he could distance himself from the turmoil was to hide. He would go into his room, not speak up, not share his feelings, find something else to do and just take care of his siblings. When he grew up, he went out and found a job to keep himself busy and to not have to be a part of the home life as much.
He got married and eventually found himself in a tumultuous marriage. His wife was unpredictable and volatile. He never knew what might set her off. He tried to have conversations but they turned into arguments. He was used to a certain amount of anger, thinking that was normal in a marriage. Unfortunately, he was also used to hiding when necessary, denying his own needs, and making himself as agreeable as possible.
They had children together and he stayed for 13 years. Until he couldn’t anymore.
But just because he left that relationship doesn’t mean the repetitive pain of his relationship mistakes were going to end.
He had been in relationships before that did not work. He had been in relationships where he did not speak up and tried to keep the peace.
He knew there was a pattern of hurt in his life, but he couldn’t connect the dots.
He knew he kept choosing women that made him walk on egg shells.
He knew he couldn’t change people, but he also stayed in painful relationships longer than necessary hoping for change.
He just didn’t know how to stop making the same relationship mistakes.
Here is what he learned and how he stopped making the same relationship mistakes:
Taking Personal Responsibility.
Since the ONLY thing you have any control over are your own choices, actions and behaviors, he had to start there. He had to see what his role was in the creation of his experiences in love. The very moment he accepted responsibility and could see the truth, everything changed going forward.
If we allow ourselves, we can stay stuck in our painful story of how our spouse did this or that. The problem is that there’s no freedom there; it keeps us stuck. If we believe that these experiences are happening TO us, rather than THROUGH us, it places us in the role of the victim and makes us powerless.
Be brave enough to look for what your responsibility has been in creating your own experiences; that’s where all the freedom lies.
Be Willing to Change.
Once you can see your role in and take responsibility for the ongoing, painful relationship mistakes, you have to be willing to change what you’ve been doing in your past in order to create an experience that feels dramatically different for your future.
You cannot keep your painful story about being unlucky at love and attract the loving, lasting relationship you desire.
You cannot doubt that love can happen for you and at the same time, feel hopeful.
You cannot keep the drama, anger and pain and have peace.
Nothing changes until you do- You’ve heard that phrase because it’s true.
It’s All Good to Know.
Your new favorite words are good to know.
Instead of trying to get everyone to change their actions and behaviors, take those actions and behaviors at face value. Instead of seeing people the way they could be or should be, see them as they are. Instead of continuing to carry the hurt from other people’s actions, set healthy boundaries and walk away from relationships that bring more pain than joy.
Other people’s actions and behaviors are just information and it is all good to know.
Know What You Want and How You Want to Feel.
If I asked you “what do you want in a relationship?,” you might be able to give me some superficial details, but what you would likely tell me about is what you don’t want and why you don’t want it.
It’s so easy to know what we don’t want, typically because we experienced it and it didn’t feel good.
If we stop there, we don’t allow the opportunity for what it is we want to come into our experience. It’s like if you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll never get to your desired destination.
Everything we want is because of how we think we will feel once we have it.
Pay attention to how you want to feel and keep walking towards everything that gives you that feeling. Don’t allow yourself to walk too far down the path with someone that doesn’t give you that desired feeling.
Communicate and Honor Your Own Needs.
You have needs.
You are the only one that can know what you need in any given moment and if you don’t honor those needs, no one else is going to do it for you…because they can’t.
We teach people how to treat us, based upon how we treat ourselves. If you don’t think your needs are important, why would anyone else?
We are always more comfortable when we know the rules; so make everyone around you more comfortable by knowing what you need personally and expressing that. Set the rules of what feels good for you.
The Path Through
Walking through these steps from a place of total acceptance and compassion for who you are and what you didn’t know at the time, can interrupt the painful relationship mistakes and ongoing patterns in your life.
There is a path through the painful patterns of our relationships to create the kind of connected, intimate relationships you desire and deserve.
You can go-it-alone or you can get through it quicker with me. I’m here if you’re ready.