Marriage Minute - Pay Attention to Your Relationship

Small things make a difference in relationships.

Little things add up over time...

Getting Right With Yourself

"Getting right with yourself is to start being a healthy parent to yourself. Having a healthy parent onboard means you are treating yourself with compassion and making sense of the world. The definition of the healthy parent ego, or voice is called the Nurturing, Structuring Parent." John Skandalis

After yoga most weeks we have a coffee and chat. I brought up the question of why we tend to attract the same types of partners into our lives, one after the other. I posed the question, 'do you think once we get right with ourselves then we stop attracting partners who are similar to the one's before?'

One person asked, 'what does it mean to get right with yourself?'

It's an interesting question isn't it... what does the question bring up for you?

John Scandalis suggests...

So, the idea of getting right with yourself means learning how to have compassion for your shortcomings and not judge yourself unduly. Another way to look at it is being a good parent to yourself. We treat, or parent ourselves, the way we were treated by our parents. This if often in a judgmental and critical way.

Attracting the same type of partner over and over who treats you less than.

I often have people attending for counselling wondering why they find themselves attracting partners who display the same types of behaviour - whether they cheat, treat you badly, don't listen, are never there for you, and find yourself again on the merry-go-round from hell, again and again. Have you wondered why this happens?

A study from the University of Toronto finds that people typically date a similar type of person, and usually gravitate towards this type no matter the circumstances.

"The degree of consistency from one relationship to the next suggests that people may indeed have a 'type'," says MacDonald. "And though our data do not make clear why people's partners exhibit similar personalities, it is noteworthy that we found partner similarity above and beyond similarity to oneself."

Can it be that they mirror the beliefs that you hold deep in the unconscious? Perhaps you meet a person who is good with words, and as a child growing up, you didn't hear words of encouragement. So you look for a partner who can give you that. However, in the process, you miss their behaviours.

Tina B. Tessina PhD, in her book, Dr Romance's Finding Love Today says...

“When you’re operating within old, familiar patterns, you don’t need to think about what you’re doing. Your body is wired to do familiar things without having to think about them. This leaves your mind free to wander and to de-stress,” Tessina explains.

When it comes to buying groceries, this mental shortcut can be extremely convenient, but in relationships, they may not always be a good thing.

For example, if you grow up around violent people, addicts, or those who are emotionally unavailable, as an adult, you will already know how to deal with them, so they feel familiar, she says. “It’s comforting in an irrational way.”

So when you find yourself in a pattern of attracting similar people in relationships, reach out to someone you can talk to, and investigate ways to leave that old merry-go-round that really isn't so merry.