Whenever a romantic relationship ends, we are always quick to be the Monday morning quarterback. We are always kicking ourselves in our moment of failure, and then we torment ourselves by saying things like, "I can't believe I could be that stupid", or "I won't ever make THAT mistake again"
But in the search for happiness again, we unknowingly always DO make that mistake again.
Sure we may choose a different or better partner, or a different place to live, or change some other circumstance. Yet in the end, we haven't changed the baggage that we are carrying around of resentment, mistrust, insecurity into that new relationship. Then, as it always does, life throws in a challenge that reminds us of something in our past relationship, and it threatens us and our being. We lash out to that threat because of the imposition that it occurs to us and what we value.
Then we bring our past to bear in the present. Something triggers this reaction, and most of the time our present partner is completely unaware that they have done something that has negatively anchored us. And guess what we do? -We make this unsuspecting and supportive partner of ours pay for our negative past by laying down a barrage of insecurity on them.
And they never see it coming. -It hits them like a midnight freight train and the impact is always severe. Of course, they lash back at us and defend their stance because in their mind, they have done nothing wrong! This is when the back and forth gets ugly.
And insecurity is the most ugly way of being. It paralyzes you and makes you become somebody that you never knew you could become. You become a detective to gather all evidence to make yourself and your gut feeling right, and in the process, you occur to everyone around you like an ugly person. Because insecurity is just plain ugly.
All of this because somebody else in our past was being allowed to live rent-free in our minds.
So in fact, that person whom you had a past relationship with and may not like very much, is still going to negatively affect you by making you feel tied down to your past issues and ultimately sabotage your own happiness with a person who might genuinely love you.
That sounds crazy now that you think of it, doesn't it?
But tell me that each of us hasn't done this many, many times and not have even realized that we are doing it.
Well, there are many reasons WHY we do this, but it isn't really important to know WHY we do this, is it? That's just going to provide us with more excuses, and we already have PLANTY of those, don't we? -It's more important to realize that we do it all the time, and to not make the person we are with pay for the sins of our past. We can catch ourselves in the moment, and stop the vicious circle that always leads to frustration and resentment, and choose the path of communication and realization without being immediately defensive.
I know that in my relationships, I have always carried this baggage into the next relationship and made the new partner pay for something that had nothing to do with them. In almost all of the cases, all my partner did was want to love me, and be who they were, unsuspecting of the fact that I was going to be on guard and wait patiently to lash out at them whenever they did something my ex did. -Then I let them pay for it. And unfortunately for them, I was really good at this...
Looking back at it, I can see where this has always paralyzed me, and made me scared and threatened. When threatened, I react like most of all of you do, which is usually not on a positive note, and the inevitable damage is done.
Yet, wouldn't it be amazing if for once if I caught myself in the act, and then looked at my partner and said something like, "I don't know why I want to lash out at you right now, but I know it's not something that you've done; rather it's the way that I've interpreted this with my past coming up where I've been hurt before. I'm sorry for being this way with you. -I'm just feeling insecure about something right now, and I can't put my finger on it. Thanks for understanding and loving me"
I think you would see an entirely different reaction and way of being that would open up a caring, loving and supportive conversation.
And in every relationship, isn't THAT exactly what we are committed to being for ourselves, and our partner?