Nobody is perfect. We all have character flaws. But if you’re reading this, you’re probably experiencing relationship problems of some kind and wondering if it’s possible that your partner is too broken to form a lasting and solid bond with you.
You may be asking yourself if it’s possible that your frog could shed those warts and grow into a prince or princess, or are those warts permanent? And is there any way to tell? I’ve created a test that will enable you to determine your partner’s “Relationship Readiness” so you can find out once and for all if your partner has Old Scars from childhood or any other kind of fatal relationship flaw that means you should throw in the glove!
Usually, there are two signs that your relationship isn’t working: you’re fighting like felines and canines OR you feel that you’re drifting apart. Whatever, the situation may be, you know deep down that something is wrong because you aren’t happy with the way your partner is acting and treating you.
But, if you’re like many people in distressed relationships, you doubt your feelings, and even accuse yourself of overreacting or expecting too much. You may also be wondering if you are somehow to blame and trying to make things better by changing yourself or trying “do something different” in the relationship to make things better. But in the long run, if it’s your partner who is just not ready for a relationship, nothing you do is going to change anything because it’s not your fault.
But before we analyze your partner’s issues, let’s examine first why you you would second guess your feelings and try to deny the fact that you aren’t being treated right. The reason is simple: You were mistreated in childhood. This means that mistreatment is the normal state of affairs for you, so much so that you don’t even realize that you’re being mistreated in your present relationship. It’s said that if you put some live frogs in a pot on the stove and turn up the heat slowly enough, they won’t jump out but will just boil to death. The scientific truth of this is debated, but it’s still a useful metaphor, and may even describe people in bad relationships. What happens is that dysfunction becomes “normal,” and maybe because you got burned growing up, you don’t recognize when your current relationship has reached the boiling point!
I don’t know anyone who has escaped childhood unscathed. We all come to our adult romantic relationships with emotional wounds that are boiling beneath the surface, and these wounds are crying to be healed. The way we attempt to heal these wounds is by choosing a partner who has the precise emotional warts that the parent who harmed us or let us down did. I call this “Setting the Stage”. The point of this re-enactment of our childhood is to, hopefully, achieve what I call your “Happy Ending.” If we can succeed in getting the emotional goodies from our partner, it will feel like we got a Happy Ending from our parent, meaning a resolution to what went wrong way back when. Every human on the planet yearns to heal the wounds of childhood by obtaining the emotional goodies from our partners (love, attention, recognition) that we deserved but didn’t receive as kids.
Now here’s what’s so tragic. When your partner doesn’t come through for you, you don’t give up on him or her (that would feel like giving up the hope of healing your Old Scar!). You just keep trying harder to fix or change your partner or the relationship so that he/she can give you that Happy Ending.
The reason why you keep trying to fix a damaged partner dates back to childhood. Let me explain:
Every child on the planet lives under two illusions: the first that he/she is the center of the universe (this is called the narcissism of childhood); and the second is that he/she has magical omnipotent (all powerful) abilities: this is called the omnipotent fantasy of childhood.
How do these two illusions express themselves in the case of an abused or neglected kid? Well, being the center of the universe, the kid thinks that his parent’s failings are his own fault; and the magical/omnipotent part of the psyche believes that if only he/she were a better kid, mom/dad would love him/her and treat him/her better. When your efforts to fix your parent and win the love and attention you needed fail, the wound just goes underground. It just lays like a sniper, waiting, hiding in your emotional underbrush until you grow up and choose a partner.
It is this unhealed wound that makes you choose a partner who’s covered in the exact same emotional warts that your parent was. Now the wounded child inside sets out to fix your partner the way you couldn’t fix your parent. And voila, you’re locked into what’s called the repetition compulsion.
Now when you can’t fix your partner, the same two-headed monster, the narcissistic and omnipotent fantasies from childhood rear their heads once more. And you’re thinking if only I try harder, I’ll succeed in fixing my partner and our relationship. And when your efforts fail, you blame yourself and try even harder to change yourself to “do something different,” hoping to please your partner, and, hopefully, fix him/her and the relationship. But obviously, this doesn’t work, since the partner is precisely as damaged and limited as your parent was, meaning he/she can’t give you any more or any better treatment than you got from your parent.
But you are so blinded by the need to heal your wound, you sell yourself oceanfront property in Nebraska. You tell yourself that he/she isn’t that bad, that the relationship isn’t that bad, that if you just keep at it things will work out.
The first step to breaking free of this pattern is to remove the blinders, stop pretending that your partner is not covered in warts and see your partner for who he/she really is: a carbon copy of the parent who let you down. The second step to breaking free of this pattern is to vow to choose partners who are NOT covered in emotional warts and are therefore dead wrong for you.
Now that you understand what’s going on, it’s time to take an honest look at your partner and see whether the person you’re dating, engaged to, living with or married to has the psychological chops to form and or maintain a stable and lasting relationship with you.
To find out for sure if your partner is relationship material or not, sign up for my newsletter and you can instantly download my FREE test called “Is Your Partner Ready For Love? Dr. Love’s 66 Keys For Measuring Your Partner’s Relationship Readiness.”
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