– Why we sometimes choose a partner who is bad for us
Although we may not always realise it, we all make unconscious choices when we are attracted to somebody. These choices are driven by a number of things, both positive and negative. In this month’s article I want to look at why we would bring somebody into our life who makes it harder for us to form a successful relationship and discover happiness.
In principle, we could fall in love and form a partnership with anybody. However, to do this we would need to be something of a saint and be able to heal any emotional issue that comes up for us or in the relationship. Above all we would need to see any behaviour in our partner that is less than loving, as a call for love and respond accordingly. Most of us struggle to do this and instead our own issues are triggered by our partner’s behaviour or mood. We may end up fighting or withdrawing from them and damaging or destroying the relationship.
If we find that we are in a difficult relationship, it is important to ask why we would have brought a person into our lives who would trigger our own unhealed issues? To answer this we must look at our needs and see how we are trying to have these met in the relationship. As human beings we all have needs – physical, emotional and spiritual and our problems come when we expect our partners to fulfill these. We are often attracted to people who have the same needs as us. For instance, if we have a need for attention, then we will be attracted to somebody who also needs lots of attention. In the early days of the relationship this might be Ok as both of us give lots of love to each other, but as time passes the need for special attention comes up in both partners, and then we fight over who is going to give the attention.
Just as we will have similar needs as our partner’s, we will also have similar emotional issues underlying them. In the example of attention-seeking, if we delve deep enough into our minds we will find an incident or period of disappointment or heartbreak where we felt we weren’t given enough love and attention – probably when we were children. Our partner will have had a similar incident, leaving them with the same need for attention in their adult life. With both partner’s having this same feeling of heartbreak and unmet needs, the scene is set for a power struggle over needs.
The way forward in any relationship is to identify the unmet needs in both partners and work to heal these through a process of understanding, letting go and forgiveness. In some relationships this is very difficult because the level of pain and fear is very high. You will then need to ask yourself if you are with the best person for your ongoing personal healing. Make sure you look at your own issues first and try to heal them with your partner before giving up on the relationship. Even if your partner is behaving badly he or she is showing you something about your unhealed issues, so be grateful for this and use what you discover to move forward in your life.
No matter who we decide to spend our lives with, love is always waiting for us underneath any problems and issues. All relationships are designed to bring love to the surface, but often this is disguised in the problems that we face. If you can keep this in mind, you will have a much more positive attitude to your relationship and will see the opportunities for healing.
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