Whether you like it or not, everyone lives in a sea of relationships, from friends to family to intimate relationships. We all encounter some of our deepest feelings in one or more of these relationships. So what in the world manages to get in the way of having happy and healthy relationships that last?
From childhood, the only practical training any of us have in developing and maintaining a relationship is our family and how we mimic them. That modelling is a powerful, invisible force. When we learn of the things that get in the way or even destroy our future relationships, we develop trusting and responsive bonds that tend to last the test of time.
Pattern 1: People will try to re-create a personality or model that is similar to those of a brother, dad, relative or guardian that was the most authoritative in their lives — the mind blossoms on familiar things. Sometimes a person may find a love that is the opposite of the dominant role model in their life and then try to change them.
Pattern 2: People will try to re-create the kind of treatment you received from your role models. If your guardians did not communicate, then you will generate a non-communicative mate. You will set your mate up to leave if you had a dad that walked away. If you had to fight for love and attention from your guardians, then that is what you will create in your current or new relationship.
Pattern 3: People will try to re-create the characteristics in a relationship similar to those that their guardians had for each other. Often, a person will copy their parents’ behavior, thinking that will make the parents pleased. At times a person may even try to work out things for the parents that they could or would not work out.
To whatever extent you are incomplete in your relationships with your childhood role models will be the extent that you will not win in your current or new relationship. It is essential to identify these models and learn how to control or correct them to build a strong relationship of your own. Practicing the solutions with your family member or mate will help you understand and grow beyond the hindering and outright destruction these models can create.
How to overcome these patterns?
- If you had an abusive sibling as a child, talk about it with your partner once you find that comfort and space. Communication can save your relationship before it is too late.
- Don’t keep blaming your past for your present. You can either learn from the past or hold on to it forever. I’d not choose the latter if I were to live.
- Don’t let your vulnerabilities come out as anger. Understand your feeling and then communicate. Tears are always better than rage.
Just a little bit goes a long way in a relationship. Everyone wants to not only feel loved but acknowledged and appreciated. Your past will not haunt you if you don’t allow it.