While there are some people who end up in relationships that are life-affirming, there are others who end up in relationships that are life-denying. As a result of this, their experiences on this planet are going to be radically different.
A Matter of Luck
One way of looking at this would be to say that some people are just ‘lucky’ when it comes to relationships, and this is why they experience life differently. Based on this, if someone’s relationships are healthy, they are going to be fine; but if they are not healthy, they are going to be in a hopeless position.
Therefore, the only way it would be possible for them to experience relationships that are healthy would be for their ‘luck’ to change. As a result of this, it could be said that it might be better for them to avoid intimate relationships until this happens.
This means that someone can either stay in relationship that is dysfunctional, or they can spend time by themselves. However, even if was to avoid intimate relationships until their ‘luck’ changes, they are still going to suffer.
Human beings are interdependent, and this means that it is not possible for them to meet all their needs by themselves. Their needs that would be met by a partner are not going to be able to be met by their friends or family, for instance.
If one wanted to find someone to start a family with, they are not going to be able to just forget about this need, and they are unlikely to look to a friend to meet this need either. It might not matter what their relationships have been like in the past; part of them can still believe that there is someone out there who will treat them with respect.
Also, while they might be able to hug their friends, for instance, they are not likely to do much more with them. Physical intimacy might be something that they want to share with someone they are in a relationship with, and this can also play a part in them not wanting to give up on intimate relationships.
It could also be said that the kind of relationships people end up in has got nothing to do with ‘luck’, and that it is more likely to be a reflection of how they behave and what is taking place within them. This means that someone doesn’t need to feel hopeless if they are used to attracting people who are abusive.
In fact, this means that they can see that they are not powerless, and that they do have control over their life. They might have felt like a victim up until this point, and they may have been victimised on numerous occasions, but this is something they can put to an end.
The First Step
It will be important for one to take a step back from relationships during this time, and this is because they will need time to work through what is causing them to attract people who are abusive. This will give them the chance to think clearly about what has been taking place in their relationships.
If one is used to having someone in their life, it could be hard for them to do this, and it won’t matter if the people they have been with were harmful. Being with people who are abusive is likely to be what feels comfortable at a deeper level, and this means they could end up having withdrawal symptoms.
The Second Step
This is why it is going to be important for one to reach out for support, and while this might be provided by their friend and/or family, for instance, this might not be enough. The reason for this is that they might not be able to give them the support that they need.
Whereas if they were to reach out to someone who has a deeper understanding of what they are going through, they are more likely to get the support that they need to move forward. This support will be there to keep one on track and to make sure they don’t end up doing the same things as before.
The Other Reason
A trained professional can also give them the support that they need to look within themselves, and along with this, one can take the time to read up about abusive relationships. Not only will this give them insight into their own life; it can also allow them to develop self-awareness.
It might also be a good idea for them to reflect on what took place during their childhood years, and this process can be aided by reading books on this subject. While one’s childhood might not have anything to do with their current life circumstances, there is also the chance that it is playing a big role in what has been taking place in their life.
What one feels comfortable with in a relationship can be defined by what took place during their early years. For instance, if one was neglected and/or abused in some way by their caregiver/s, then this can be what is familiar, and therefore, what feels safe.
And through being treated in this way, one would have experienced toxic shame, and this is going to cause them to feel worthless. They can then feel as though they deserve to be treated badly, and being abused can be what is normal.
Not As Extreme
There is also the chance that one’s early experiences were not as extreme, and this means that it could relate to a one-off experience that left a mark. Or they may have experienced something that gradually wore them down overtime, and in this case, each occurrence may have been relatively insignificant.
This shows that it is not black and white; however, what matters is what one takes the time to look at why they would be drawn to someone who would harm them. Looking back on the past is way for one to increase their self-awareness, and this means that it is not time where they need to blame anyone for what has been taking place in their life.
And while one could focus on what is taking place in their mind during this time, this might not be enough, and this is because the answers are likely to be in their body. The emotional pain that they experienced in the past is likely to be trapped in their body.
This emotional pain can end up defining the thoughts that appear in their head, and it can even keep their beliefs in place. A lot of this pain will relate to unmet childhood needs, and one way to release this pain is to cry it out.
If one is carrying toxic shame, they may feel the need to keep this part of them hidden. However, this is something that can only survive if it is kept hidden, and this is why it needs to be brought out into the open.
This is something that can create a charge is one’s body, and as this charge is faced, it can begin to discharge. It can then be possible for them to experience healthy shame as opposed to toxic shame.
As one let’s go of the pain that is within them, starts to develop new beliefs, and opens up about how they feel, the kind of people they are attracted to will change. This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist and/or a support group.
If one does this and their life doesn’t change, it could be a sign that their relationship problems are the result of their need to stay loyal to their family. In this case, they can work with someone who is trained in family constellations.
This whole process could take more than matters of months, and this why it will be important for one to be patient and persistent. What one has to go through in the short-term will be outweighed by the kinds of relationships that they will experience in the long-term.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.