Recognizing and Breaking Negative Relationship Patterns
Question from a reader:
All relationships reflect back to us parts of ourselves. Sometimes ugly parts. Sometimes beautiful parts. Sometimes it brings out aspects of yourself you never knew existed. They’re all opportunities to know ourselves a little more, reflected through another.
If we meet our partners as a way to see ourselves through them and learn, how is it that you break up with someone because you don’t feel like being with them anymore?
Of course there are still things I haven’t learned so I am going to meet another person that is still going to teach me what the other person couldn’t. Should I keep trying to learn things from the first person? Why do they seem to always appear again? Does that mean something?
Some relationships–the ones some might call karmic ones – are with souls that you’ve been having experiences with across lifetimes. Others are just reflecting back to you patterns that were created in this lifetime.
You’ll always know a karmic relationship, because it’s not something you’re going to be able to shake easily. The allure will be irresistible. The chemistry palpable. It’ll be really, really good, or really, really bad, or really good and then rally bad. lol You’re going to have strong emotions in one direction or the other, maybe even both.
With karmic relationships, we often attracted to partners who feed our imbalances. For example, a person with a history of codependent care-taking will be drawn to partners who “need” them in some way. That might play out as partners who require financial support or otherwise look to you as someone who can provide them. It may be people who are wounded. The allure of the relationship is that, at least initially, it feels good to give. It validates a need within both partners–for the caretaker, the need to feel needed. For the one being taken care of, the filling of the void.
Eventually, the caretakers often give more than they receive in the relationship and end up feeling drained and resentful of their less capable partners. This pattern plays out over and over until one or both parties recognizes that their habits are not the result of love, but rather, a lack of self-love, improper boundaries, and seeking validation from an outside source.
Sometimes you break up because you learn all the lessons that relationship has to offer you. You recognize your karmic patterns and step into your true power. Sometimes you break up because one of you outgrows the lesson and one of you doesn’t, and needs to keep repeating it. Another person will come along to fill that role while you move on to something new and your partner remains trapped in a karmic feedback loop with the universe serving them the same shit sandwich they ate the day before, repeating the same patterns over and over with a new person who holds the same fundamental energetic framework as the last person, but with a pretty new face and storyline.
It’s important to recognize that these patterns are often based on attachment trauma from early childhood which affects how we relate to others in our adult life, especially in relationships and that by examining our relationship with our parents when we were children, we can gain a wealth of insight into our current relationship patterrns.
Breaking The Repetition
Becoming aware of your patterns is one thing, actively working to maintain that awareness in any given situation, understand what it’s showing you about yourself, and healing that is wholly another.
The biggest mistake I often see people make is thinking that simply because they became aware of the pattern that they won’t repeat it, or that they can somehow work through that pattern while maintaining a relationship with another person who is reflective of it. I won’t say that’s impossible, but I will say, as the adage goes, that it’s difficult to heal in the same environment you in which you got sick.
Never stick around in a stagnant relationship and especially never stick around in one which is abusive. You’re going to know, in your heart, when it’s time to go. The tricky part is that sometimes “leaving” is a part of our pattern and we do it because we fear intimacy or commitment, or some other aspect of the relationship. Other times, clinging to it is part of our pattern. In either case, it’s going to keep happening again and again until you confront it and choose something different. Same story, different character.
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