How We Attract Life Partners – Good & Bad

Bad Boy
 photo credit: JasonDGreat

Since we know there are no mistakes, no coincidences, (see Guiding Principles ) we can assume that that includes the relationships we find ourselves in. Truthfully, we handpick the people in our lives to be exactly the way they are because the way they are reinforces what we have come to expect from relationship!

Here's how it works: As children we make automatic assumptions about what we can expect from relationship – about what men are like and what women are like, about how we will be treated, etc. We view the world around us through these assumptions or core beliefs; they become like a lens that colors what we see in the same way that wearing a pair of sunglasses affects the way we see the world.

Unconsciously we walk around looking at the world through these often distorted beliefs and we find ourselves attracted to and attracting to us the people that feel most familiar, even in a not so positive way, who end up validating for us our early life assumptions/core beliefs.

Here's an example from my own life: As a child, I loved my dad very much. He was a practicing alcoholic who either played with us so hard it hurt or he ignored us altogether. He was often irritable (hung over) or downright disapproving. When I heard his car pulling into the driveway at night, I remember feeling my heart-pound and great angst in the pit of my stomach because I never knew “which dad” would walk through the door.

Later, in my adolescence, I'd go to parties, like most teenagers, looking to meet boys. I soon noticed that I was not much interested in the “nice” boys – Instead I'd look around until I found the guy who was standing aloof – the one with the scowl on his face, a beer in his hand and a cigarette dangling from his lips. I would see that “bad boy” and my heart would pound and my gut would twist up just as it did when I was a kid around my dad – and do you know what I thought that meant?

You guessed it! I thought I was in love! In reality I'd simply found the one guy in the room who was most like my dad; I'd found what was familiar. It took me years to realize that those old familiar feelings signaled not love, but a guy more likely in need of treatment! 🙂

Become familiar with your core beliefs. Write down what you learned about relationship from watching your parents interact and then look for how those very beliefs have been played out in your own life!

Blessings, Lynne

7 Responses

  1. As my partner has been secretly smoking pot behind my back (after a lifetime of addiction)
    and having found out about it a few months ago, I am struggling
    with my dissatisfaction, knowing that addictions are a way out of
    anything unpleasant.
    I have my own addiction, using food to soothe my hurts.

    There is judgement of him, disapproval, wanting something better.
    There is the love I have for him. This has created a whirlwind of
    reactivity in my heart, for part of me wants to leave and part longs for the closeness we had.
    I see that my own revulsion for my inability to stop eating for
    emotional reasons is projected onto him. It hurts to see that.
    Shall I let go of all the judgements, disapproval, rejection of him
    and just focus on my own judgements, disapproval and rejection of myself for what appears to me as my weakness?
    My heart aches because he has withdrawn because of the above.
    It brings up very deep pain in my heart. I cannot seem to shake it. There was lots of abandonment in my childhood, repeated in
    different ways at different times.
    I see the victim triangle…I feel victimized and betrayed, and
    become the perpetrator of judgement and rejection. Another
    part of me tries to be accepting, to forgive, which can be seen as
    rescuer in a way. It’s a swirl of reactivity.

    I am away from home for two weeks, and feel victimized by his
    not talking with me. I keep trying to reconnect, with little response.
    I am stuck feeling rejected, like I did as a child. The pain keeps coming up in my heart. I stay with it, feel it, compassion arises.

    It feels endless. I know I am on the victim triangle, for a time.
    There is space. Then the pain returns.

    Any ideas?

  2. Yes, our partners are a faithful, moment to moment, mirror of our relationship with ourselves, with others, and/or with Source. As we reframe the unhappy beliefs that have held us hostage in the past, we come into a kinder, higher frequency, relationship with ourselves and those around us who have operated in low frequency with us, do one of two things: their frequency goes up too, and they are kinder to us too – or, we find our paths going in different directions. It’s a natural happening.

  3. Hi lynn, great posts. I was wondering if everything that your partners does is a mirror to you. What happens when you change your belief and your partner still does not change? Do you leave the relationship if the emotional abuse does not stop? Thank you.

  4. Good work, Jach! “She blames me for everything” turned around is, “I blame me for everything.” She mirrors to you what you do to yourself. That is her service to you. 🙂 Another turn around is “I blame her for everything.” How is that one true? Do you blame her for your unhappiness? For keeping you from joy? For robbing you from peace?

    Investigating those thoughts are your route to peace, not insisting she be different … no, she needs to be exactly how she is, for how else are you going to discover what it is you do to yourself? 🙂 As you find and reframe your own limiting beliefs you may well be surprised at how different things are between you and your wife – and for the better!
    Best of luck & blessings,

  5. Thanks for your Lynne,

    Last week was an emotional roller coaster for me. I re-read some of your posts, I let things settle down. Interesting indeed. I got to the conclusion that I needed to let my wife go through her own process, at her own pace, but at the same time, that I needed to put some limits. I didn’t even need to do “The Work”: it’s cristal-clear to me that I blame me for everything (and it became clear also that I was blaming her too).

    This “every body blames me for everything” belief has accompanied me for years. Now it’s time for me to take responsibility for that belief

    Thank you for your words.

  6. Hi Jach, thanks for sharing. It is definitely possible to get off the triangle without ending a relationship. In spite of widely held notions that it takes two working on it for a relationship to work, I’ve found, to the contrary, that it only takes one to have a happy relationship.

    But it requires a certain willingness on that one’s part …

    For that to happen we must be willing to take 100 % responsibility for our own unhappy feelings by realizing that our unhappiness is caused, not by what the other person is doing or not doing, but by our thinking about what that person is doing/not doing.

    When we realize that our misery is up to us, we begin to let go of our previous desperate need for them to change. We stop trying to make them be different so we can be happy because we understand that they are not in control of our happiness.

    Instead, we focus on the thoughts and beliefs we hold that create our unhappiness. Anytime we think they are the cause of our misery we are in victim. Plain and simple. To get off the victim triangle, we must question our own unhappy thoughts/beliefs.

    “My wife blames me for everything …” and that means ……. ?” (fill in the blank. For instance, it means … she doesn’t love me, she thinks I’m inadequate, she’s a b—-, what does it mean to you? )

    Now take that thought through Byron Katie’s Four Questions and turn it around. Find that process on her webpage at http://www.thework.com.

    Get more focused on transforming your thoughts about her than you are in blaming her for your unhappiness (isn’t it interesting to find we are doing the very thing we are so upset with them for doing?! She blames you, you blame her… hmmmm :))

    Hope this helps.

  7. My mother always blamed my father for everything wrong in her life. Now my wife is doing the same with me.

    I know that I’m in “victim mode” because I’m running the “you’re falsely accusing me” script, and also the rescuer because I see the patterns in her and I tried to make her aware of them so “she can be free”.

    But this is only theater.

    My question is this: is there a way to remove the triangle without ending the relationship?

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