What was I thinking?

creating enduring relationships - CLEWhen you meet someone and fall in love, nothing else seems to matter. It is like being on love-heroin. All you want to do is be with that person. You say things like, “You had me at hello” or “You complete me.”

How quickly things change. After the wedding, it is not long before your first skirmish. Those mild scuffles escalate into battles that evolve into long standing crusades. Gradually, all you can think about is getting a break and you are asking, “What was I thinking when I married him or her?”

You vowed you wouldn’t be like your parents. As you grow, you begin seeing how your partnership is reminiscent of your parents’ relationship. When you are honest, you accept that you have many of the same traits as your mother and father. You are inexorably drawn to recreate your parents’ marriage and your family of origin. It is as if it is part of your DNA.

Mary thought James was so much kinder and more sensitive than her father. Her dad was an unhappy alcoholic who spent most of his time at work during the week and at the country club on the weekends. James was a caring people person. He not only did not drink, he was a pastor. James was very devoted to the church and spent most of his time faithfully ministering to his congregation. He numbed his pain by isolating and overeating. In counseling, Mary gradually came to realize that she had married her dad. The circumstances were opposites; however, she was seeing that she felt the same pain of loneliness and abandonment she knew as a child.

Why do you pick the partners you do? I believe in part it is because you are drawn to that which is known. You seek comfort and familiarity, confusing them with safety. Your partner is a composite of your mother and father. He or she is your personal consultant offering you the opportunity to complete lots of unfinished business from your childhood. He or she is your guide to learn, grow, and transform yourself into the person you are capable of becoming. I guess you do know what you were doing!

Watch for our blogs, newsletters, and workshops to learn more about how you can have the marriage you have always dreamed of. It may make sense for you to talk with one of our finely trained therapists to personally walk with you through your journey to wholeness and a life of joy.

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Published: 13.11.2013 / 03:05 PM

Category: Relationships

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