How To Change Your Destructive Relationship
All of us whether we are aware of it or not have or have had destructive relationship patterns that we keep repeating. Many of my clients when they first come to me are unaware of their “destructive choice patterns’ and all are surprised when they finally recognize that they’ve done the same things to get the same results.
I am sure, I’ve mentioned this somewhere else, my “destructive choice pattern” despite my education, experience and intense desire to be happy and fulfilled in love, was choosing guys who were in serious emotional, physical of financial problems. I’d sit there listening to how he felt confused, overwhelmed, helpless and victimized and before I knew it, we were in a relationship and this person was accusing me of “smothering” him or treating him like a “stray dog”. If a family member, friend or co-worker pointed out that something was wrong with the relationship, I would quickly become very protective because I believed “no one understood him” like I did. It was hard for me to break away from these relationships because deep inside I was convinced that they would never find someone else who would understand and love them like I did and will end up unloved and alone. Until I figured out why I was always confusing sympathy for love, I always ended up with the same relationship dramas.
Your “destructive choice patterns’ are patterns that have hurt you in the past that should stop you dead in your tracks. This exercise will help you recognize your patterns. I recommend that you do lots of writing because this is a tool that will not only help you recognize your choice patterns but will be very helpful for you later when those old defensive reactions, fears and insecurities crop up in your relationship.
Try to remember at least “six” qualities that were missing from your past relationships that caused conflicts and write down what you NOW want. Make sure you do not use negative statements. For example if your ex cheated on you, rather than saying “I don’t want someone who cheats” write “I want a mate who is monogamous”. Be as specific as possible. If you want someone who is gentle don’t just put gentle, include what gentle means to you.
If you are already in a relationship do not think of what the other person should do or not do, focus on you. You have to face the “truth” about your past that surfaces when you are not focused on someone else. It means looking hard at your life in the PRESENT, both the things you feel good about and what makes you feel uncomfortable or unhappy.
For each of the six statement do the following – start with one statement that you’ve written down and do 1, 2 and 3 and then go on to the next.
1. Read each statement out loud enough for you to hear your own voice. Then ask yourself, where is this coming from? Is it coming from a long ago past (your parents’ relationship, what you experienced as a child, what your peers projected on you by how they treated you etc) or from a recent past (break-up, divorce etc). Allow yourself to feel the pain and the emptiness. You need to face the pain and the emptiness with courage, knowing that they are less powerful than your true self. Feelings, positive and negative, can be the guiding light to our true selves. Do not feel ashamed or embarrassed if you find yourself crying. Tears may just well be the therapy you need. Very often the mere act of acknowledging that you feel a certain way allows you to move gently from being stuck in that state into a more peaceful and pure state.
Some past issues are difficult to deal with. There are very many self-help books, workshops and professionals that can help you. However, avoid books that just go on and on about a particular issue but do not tell you how to move past it. Do not become an “expert” in your particular “problem” – the idea is to MOVE PAST (that is why it is called past) not make it your present or get a doctorate in it. If you decide to or are already seeing a counselor or therapist you should be able to see a change in your life within the third/fourth visit (you are much happier, more relaxed and feel that you are truly leaving your past behind and stepping into the present). If after 5 sessions you don’t see a change, even a slight one, then change your counselor or therapist.
2. Ask yourself what you are doing to recreate your past. Take responsibility for what is happening to you. When you start to be aware of what you are doing to create your experiences, then you are also starting to be aware of what you can do to change future outcomes. This may be hard for most people as we do it on an unconscious level and we are not even consciously aware of what we do. There is a reason why you keep attracting the same kind of men or women (different faces but same dramas). And if you are in a relationship, there is reason why you and your partner keep having the same arguments, the same fights, the same dramas. The other person may have his or her own “issues” but you did not just stumble into this person and relationship, your unconscious radar carefully searched for a partner with specific characteristics. Recognize the “issues” and make a conscious decision to change how you react. This applies to all your relationships (family, friends, co-workers etc).
3. Ask yourself “what have I done to prepare myself for someone who is…say, monogamous, financially responsible, organized, health conscious, fun and interesting, sexually fulfilling, spiritually conscious etc, if that is what you have written down. If you are in a relationship, ask yourself “what am I doing or not doing that I am blaming him or her for not doing for me?
If you struggle with jealousy, find it hard to trust, are controlling or have very low-self esteem, then you need to work on that to attract someone monogamous. If you are too stingy, too relaxed or a bit irresponsible about finances, get some advice and restructure your savings and investment program. If you are overly serious and ‘boring”, then cultivate your playful side to attract someone interesting who will bring more excitement into your life. If you want to find someone with healthy habits, then attend to your own your apartment or house, clean out the closets, fill up fridge with healthier foods and start a fitness regime you can live with. If you desire a spiritual man or woman but your spiritual life is all in your head, do the arduous work of finding a group of like-minded seekers and join them. Your spiritual life grows best in the company of others. If you want more sex in your relationships than you’ve had in the past, then enhance your bedroom skills – find a book, attend a tantra sex seminar, work individually with a sex therapist or intimacy coach etc..
The most important thing to remember is that if you commit to your self-enhancement you will constantly evolve into a better you. And a better you will attract a better partner and create a better relationship. And if you find somebody who is committed to his or her own personal growth, you will have already avoided many of the problems many couples face. If you are in a relationship, not only will your relationships improve but your partner will find him or herself forced to step up to your level of emotional and spiritual development. On a cautionary note, if one partner grows and enhances him/herself and the other partner does not, they will both become uncomfortable in the relationship and eventually become attracted to partners closer to their own space. This applies to romantic relationships as well as close friends .
Whenever you catch yourself reacting to someone or something someone says or does, ask yourself why you feel the way you do. Because you’ve made a conscious decision or intension to centre yourself, your feelings will guide you to where your “discomfort” is coming from. Then make a conscious decision to change the outcome by changing how you react.
Take action NOW. Whatever you dream you can do, begin it. Your dreams are your soul’s desires and have genius, power and magic in them. So begin your dream relationship now…