Wayne Dyer said, his mother fell into really unhealthy relationships. It became a pattern. One after another, all the men she fell for were alcoholic, abusive in some way and very bad parents, of course. She never broke the cycle and the children had to suffer for it. She is not alone. Many men and women follow these patterns, always falling into the same type of unhealthy relationships. There is a way to break the cycle and it’s within everyone’s reach. It’s not easy but very rewarding. Wouldn’t we all want to be in an honest healthy relationship? Of course!
First of all, we must acknowledge we keep repeating the same unhealthy relationship cycle; different person, same crappy relationship. They are usually very similar. These relationships are a reflection of who we are or think we are. They seem to fulfill a purpose. If our self-esteem is poor, we are likely to attract people who confirm that, so we end up with someone who belittles us or worse.
Before you can break the unhealthy relationship cycle, think about these things:
- Acknowledge the problem.
- Take a hard look at your past and try to find out what you lacked when you were a child.
- Who were your role models?
- Were you beaten as a child? Ignored? Berated?
- Look back at your previous relationships. What attracted you to these people?
- How about your friendships? Were they also unhealthy?
- What do you think of yourself? Are there more negative than positive things?
Once you’ve taken a hard look at all the above, and possibly written them down, you can start a new slate.
How to break the cycle:
- Make a list of all your positive attributes. Try to focus on the good. Work on your self-esteem and give yourself a pat on the back every time you feel proud of yourself.
- Do things that make you feel good.
- Try new things on your own that you enjoy. Challenge yourself.
- Stay away from relationships for a while and do things with good friends.
- Take time to reconnect with who you are.
- Make a list of things you don’t like in relationships and people.
- Make another list of things you really like about relationships and people.
- Learn to trust your gut. This takes time. When something doesn’t feel right, no matter what your heart tells you, follow your gut. In my book: run for the hills if a person feels off!
- Don’t fall for the person whom you are physically attracted to immediately. The cycle may repeat itself. Take your time and question whether it’s just lust / infatuation or does this person fit most of the things you wrote on the list of what you like in a person?
- If you feel you need to talk to a professional, do so. Unhealthy relationships can wreck havoc and undo you. Seeking help, talking things over with a therapist you trust, may help you to see more clearly.
- And lastly, remember that you have one life to live and there is no point in wasting it in relationships that harm you. If it doesn’t make you happy, leave. That simple, and that complicated!
Be safe, be good to yourself and break the cycle!