I was in a constant state of anxiety during my marriage.
Part of the problem was my own internal fears that I brought into the relationship:
I was afraid of losing my husband and being abandoned and…
I was afraid of being neglected or seen as unlovable.
These were beliefs that I had carried with me since childhood and nurtured by choosing unhealthy relationships that amplified my negative self-talk.
So, when these fears came true during my divorce, they once again validated my own internal fear: that I was not worthy of love.
Today, there have been times when I have gone back to the same type of relationship as my marriage, not because I want fear and dysfunction in my life but, because the unhealthy relationship is familiar: it is what I have been programmed to accept; fear… anxiety… drama… despair.
But I have learned through spiritual footwork that the other part of this relationship problem is the people I choose to get involved with…
Their actions cater to my own negative beliefs.
Their unreliable behavior leads me to always believe, even when they are on their best behavior, that there must be a catch and that sooner or later they will let me down again.
Basically… it is my shadow-self seeking another shadow-self to recreate patterns from my past.
A way of playing out negative beliefs… or becoming lost in the fantasy that this time… it will somehow… magically… be different and all work out.
But it is never different.
An unhealthy relationship is an unhealthy relationship.
If I choose to engage with someone that brings out my fears, my short comings, I am allowing myself to be controlled by my negative beliefs.
If I choose to keep someone in my life, and accept short bursts of attention and validation to make me feel “better in the moment” then I am selling myself short on what I can truly expect in a relationship with a kind, loving person who is willing to commit to me fully, and does not trigger my fear or my shadow self through inappropriate and unhealthy behavior.
“Dear God, help me be willing to let go of unhealthy relationships. Help me to be strong enough to walk away from what is hurting me.”
It took years to let go of an unhealthy relationship – my marriage. And it took my ex doing extraordinarily hurtful things to catalyze the end. I am far from getting involved with anyone else but I do think about and feel anxious about who I may meet and how I will learn / understand if I’m heading the right direction.
Patricia, I have been having a HECK of a week with this in regards to friends from my “old circle”…. (sigh) I’m doing a lot of soul searching right now…. and trying to let go of old behaviors… (double sigh)…
I understand and hope your week smoothes out quickly. 🙂
I have friends (even family) from our “old circle ” that I’m still in touch with, and when I see them, I catch myself acting differently around them on top of shifting mentally back to where I was before.
It’s SO difficult… :-0
Isn’t it funny? I do that too… begin to act differently and then catch myself and try to find my authentic self as quickly as possible… I think that is my definition of spiritual growth: catching it almost immediately!!!! They are my tribe… the crew I grew up with…. so unfortunately… they have quite an emotional hold on me…. I don’t want to be PART of that life anymore… but I don’t want to be LEFT out either. LOL… so odd.
You’ve put in words what I have been trying to understand in myself. I am going through a divorce and the pain is excruciating. Searching for insight into myself and why I chose the man I married. Despite all the evidence that he was never going to be good for me.
Hang in there, Danielle. My ex had numerous good qualities but huge flaws that I overlooked in the “name of love”
Time will move you through this… I promise it will… keep reading and know that I am here for you. 🙂 D.