I was away at a training a few weekends ago where I was learning all kinds of interesting things on human beings and their thoughts, feelings and behaviors. One of the things that really stood out to me, however, was how we, unconsciously (usually), do to ourselves and our loved ones what was once done to us.
It is an interesting concept to think about. Sometimes there were things that our own caregivers could or could not give us that have impacted the way in which we relate with the world. This comes in all forms, not just destructive.
For example, it is possible that you grew up in a family that told you that you weren’t enough and so today, despite all your accomplishments, you continue to see yourself as unworthy. In your relationships this can show up with you either always feeling threatened and therefore anxious about your role in the relationship or you threaten your partners self confidence in order to feel more secure.
On the flip side, perhaps you grew up in a family where your caregiver did everything for you and loved you so completely, wholly and entirely that you never really had to learn how to love yourself. In your relationship if your partner doesn’t devote his/her every moment to making you feel that loved then you are left feeling unsatisfied and insecure. Perhaps you let your partner know on a regular basis that he/she isn’t loving you enough, leaving him/her to feel like he isn’t good enough.
We all have our histories but it is important to look at yours. It can be easy to point the finger at your partner and see them as the problem instead of realizing how you are participating in the pattern.
So take some time to look at yourself and see if you are doing to yourself or your relationship what was once done to you. What are the patterns you find yourself stuck in and repeating time after time. What role do you play in those patterns? How are they impacting you? If you think you are replicating things you witnessed or experienced growing up, then give yourself the gift of seeking help. It will improve not only your life but also your partners.