I often hear from people, mostly women, who feel like no matter what they do, they encounter the same problems in each relationship they have. Whether it is lack of honesty and trust, infidelity, one or both partners being emotionally unavailable, alcoholism, abuse, or losing interest over time, many of these issues all stem back to the same core problems.
I always tell people that they haven’t had “five” relationships, but rather one relationship five times. Additionally, the most important relationship you will ever have is the relationship you have with yourself.
When left unresolved, issues like anxiety, trauma, depression, negative thoughts and beliefs, and lack of confidence can manifest themselves in multiple different ways. For example, if you lack self confidence, you may be afraid to speak up for yourself and voice your needs or concerns in a relationship, but you might not even be aware that your lack of communication stems from your lack of confidence.
Oftentimes these problems become normalized. For example, I had a client, Terri, who actively pursued relationships with alcoholics. Despite the suffering she experienced with her dad and numerous other men who were alcoholics, she somehow equated alcoholism with a challenge she could face and overcome and related alcoholism to masculinity.
Another client, Chloe, came to me with the belief that all men in romantic relationships were abusive to some extent and she equated abusive tendencies such as jealousy, possessiveness, and controlling behaviors with being loved and cherished. This belief led her to start relationships with abusive men, which only resulted in disappointment and pain. In our work together, we were able to reframe Chloe’s destructive beliefs into healthier and more positive ones.
If one of your parents abandoned you as a child, you might have deeply held fear and anxiety of being abandoned, whether you realize it or not. Your fear of abandonment can manifest in ways where you are overly clingy, suspicious, and controlling, which oftentimes will push someone away, which is the opposite of what you want.
Through our work together, my client Linda became aware of the fact that every time her husband left the house, she feared he was going to cheat. We recognized the trigger was the sound of the keys as he was leaving. Up until that point, she had no awareness of the sound of keys being the trigger. Once she became aware, she realized that she always had a sick feeling in the pit of her stomach when she heard the keys but that feeling had become so normalized that she wasn’t even noticing it anymore.
In many cases, your partner might not have given you any reason to believe they would leave you, cheat on you, or disregard your thoughts or opinions, but because of your own deep-seated thoughts and beliefs about yourself and how the world works, you could be projecting those fears onto your relationships.
In turn, you might even be attracted to people with similar issues that you are struggling with, which only exacerbates the problems within your relationships.
This is why it is so important to uncover these fears within yourself, face them, and get the tools to overcome these unhealthy thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. In order to stop reliving the same relationship with different people and feeling unfulfilled after each one, you must rewire your brain to view yourself and others differently.
Another client, Ann, had a long history of challenging relationships. She reported that she enjoyed the challenge, despite these relationships often creating a lot of stress, upheaval, and drama, not only for herself, but for her young daughter. Through our work together, she made the connection about her father’s cheating, as her own mother was on her deathbed. As a young girl, she internalized the belief that relationships had to be hard. Over the years, she had met and briefly dated several (nice) guys who treated her well and were relatively easygoing. She found fault with each of those men and quickly got bored in those relationships.
We cannot change what we experienced during childhood, but we can reframe those events and experiences, leading to different beliefs and experiences. Because life is all about the stories we tell ourselves, it is our responsibility to make sure the stories we are telling and believing are working for us rather than against us.
If you feel like your thoughts, beliefs, and interpretations of past experiences are negative and causing you to engage in self destructive behavior, such as ending a relationship prematurely of our fear of abandonment, you can change your subconscious thought patterns with tools and techniques based in Brain-Science and Emotional Intelligence.
With the help of a highly trained Life Coach specializing in trauma, you can dig deep into the subconscious thoughts and beliefs that you have carried with you throughout your life and begin to understand them. You can’t do something about something you’re unaware of, so simply gaining awareness is your point of power and over half the battle.
Once you become aware of your deeply held beliefs and the behaviors that are manifesting because of them, getting the right tools can help you begin to change your patterns of thinking from negative to positive and develop new behaviors that exhibit how you want to live your life.
In my nearly 20 years as a life coach, I have helped thousands of clients gain awareness of their most damaging, self-destructive, and sabotaging thoughts and behaviors so that they can enjoy healthy relationships, emotional freedom, and peace of mind. Once we discover what beliefs are causing their habits and behaviors, I am able to provide them with immediately relevant techniques and solutions to rewire their brains, change their behaviors, and create long-lasting, sustainable changes in their most meaningful relationships.