Fall in love with Mr Wrong and this could happen to you too
About 18 months ago….I met and dated a man (we’re both late 40’s, young minded, attractive!) for several months, we clicked on so many levels, humor and interests and had so much fun together. We both then had to relocate to different places for work and visited each other a few times, which was wonderful, fun, sincere and happy, him suggestions of cities we could visit together.
But on the last day of an amazing vist to him, though he had conveyed we’d meet again and often, I felt insecure and overwhelmed, he hadn’t helped me that day when I needed to figure transport times and I had a total melt down accusing him of being selfish, left on difficult terms…..causing him to pull away. Thereafter I made efforts to keep in touch. I later moved to the same city, we got back together again and it was great for a while….then pull….push….
He admits he is lonely, yet one time told me he “can’t fall in love” with anyone. He is long time separated, after on-off marriage after he cheated, has daughters 15 and 20, that he cares about and sees.
He relocated back to where we had first met. I guess I was pushing and questioning and he pulled away altogether. I was so hurt, did a lot of self-work, stopped responding to him for 6 months and was healing. Then he reached out, slowly I warmed again to him, and he came for a weekend visit. First night was lovely, lively and fun, he was suggesting I visit him, was making plans again, he was close, affectionate and opened up a lot, confiding in me, telling me his future plans – I did not sleep with him – all was good – we planned to meet next day.
But after a few drinks I’d forgotten the plan that I was to call him – so when he didn’t call, assumed perhaps he’d had a change of heart next day – I felt confused, but ok, and a way I felt wary about getting close, so quickly and possibly being left again. Yet not hearing anything at all, I got concerned. He ignored my midnight call and next morning I tried again. He’d been out late, needed to sleep …refused to talk. Later he explained via email he’d waited all day hoping I’d call to invite him to come to my place, as was planned. I understood, apologized but felt hurt that he’d left without seeing me. His email felt cold.
Days later I called him. We had a great chat for an hour, he said he was angry with himself not me, for screwing up the visit, but instead of keeping it light I got scared…the conversation derailed – him saying we’re not in a relationship, and me feeling rejected, anxious, needy and clingy and him not able to get away fast enough!
Part of me wants “my ex back” and to enjoy something more with him, another part doesn’t know any more. I want so much to be in a loving relationship and deep down I know he does too. Have I pushed him away for good now? Sabotaged it completely? Is he capable of a relationship ? Am I?
I have a history of dating ambivalent men, who keep me off balance, guessing, and in my 20’s had a 5 yr relationship with a guy who was abusive and violent.
Sabotage Scared and Sad
I hear your despair. I was talking with a new group patient, a woman who said she’s so tired of all the work she’s done in therapy with previous therapists and still she’s not healed.
I can’t tell you how many people have voiced this complaint.
Many therapists work on the cognitive level. They explain everything to you, and you might be able to write a dissertation on what’s wrong with you, but still you aren’t healed or free.
Freud was the first to realize that interpretations don’t heal.
Here’s the thing, when you find yourself caught in a repetitive pattern, you know that trauma is the author of the pattern.
The thing is, left to our own devices, we will keep on repeating a trauma again and again until we work through the feelings and obtain a resolution. It sounds good on paper but here’s the thing.
When we repeatedly replay trauma, we don’t heal. We just re-injure ourselves.
So here’s the crux of what’s happening with you. You are caught in a seduce-abandon pattern, which, I bet, is a repetition of an earlier trauma. To be more specific, you are caught in a repetition compulsion, which is driving you to choose partners who emotionally resemble the parent who harmed you or let us down. As you know, with a carbon copy of our parent on the scene, it doesn’t take long before we are reliving the worst, most painful aspect of our childhood.
We keep on reliving this pain hoping that this time around if we’re really good and giving and loving and patient we will succeed in getting the emotional goodies–the love and attention we craved when we were young. If we succeed in obtaining this “corrective” treatment from our partner it will feel as though our parent is bestowing the gift; then our Old Scar from childhood will be healed.
This plan rarely succeeds in healing us precisely because we choose partners who are limited and damaged in the exact same areas that our parents were, which means they can’t give us any more or any better than our parents ever did.
So you keep choosing abusers and abandoners. Clearly you’re repeating some very painful experiences from when you were young.
Perhaps you know this. Knowing this intellectually isn’t going to heal you.
What will heal you?
By forming relationships that are loving, secure, and non-abusive.
The way this is achieved is through therapeutic relationships.
I offer these kinds of experiences to my patients in small group settings. Group is what I call our “second chance family.” In group we get the chance to bond with a new breed of brothers, sisters, mothers and fathers. These experiences are the safe way to bond and experience love. Then, after a time, when we are healed, we take our show on the road and find relationships like these in our outside lives.
I’m going to be starting to run intimate groups like this through a private membership on my site. I invite to join.
For now, it’s best to stay single. This way you don’t keep reinjuring yourself. I’ll never forget a woman who came to me after having been hospitalized following a serious suicide attempt. She, like you, was desperate that she kept picking men who dumped her.
My first order of business with her was to command her to stop dating.
Next, I figured out what Old Scar she was repeating. Remember, a repetitive pattern is the sign of trauma that’s being replayed in an attempt to heal.
We uncovered that when she was a baby herself her mother had another baby and dumped her.
There it was! She kept picking men who dumped her like mom, unconsciously hoping that she could get the abandoners to keep her–thereby healing her Old Scar.
Working with me in a group she experienced love and healing. And guess what? When her Old Scar was healed, she no longer was drawn to abandoners. She went on to happily marry a man who’s devoted to her.
My message to you is simple. Stay single for now. And heal your Old Scar. I also suggest you read my book Kiss Your Fights Good-bye. Not only will the book help you identify your Old Scar, it will guide you on how to begin healing the scar all by yourself! Then when you join one of my membership groups, you will just add more healing to the mix!
Hang in there. Don’t give up. It’s always darkest before the dawn.