It’s always a surprise, but it shouldn’t be. Our friends and family, though, can see it coming a mile away. In the meantime, you’re kicking yourself for falling for the same type of person who just broke your heart.
See, it’s tempting to think by kicking your Ex to the curb that you’ve learned your lesson and you’re going to do better the next time around. Your new love just seems so perfect. So different. What you don’t remember is how your Ex also seemed so perfect when you first fell in love.
“You complete me” – Jerry Maguire
There are two parts to this equation. First, according to relationship experts like Harville Hendricks, we fall in love with people who replicate our childhood wounds. Since I have discussed this previously in What Every Couple Should Know Before Getting Married and Blessings of a Dysfunctional Marriage, I will just summarize to say that we fall in love because, on some level, we feel that we’ve met the person who will heal our childhood wounds. When we realize they won’t is when the trouble, conflict and discontent occur.
The second part of this equation is your choice. You can either blame your partner and get all your friends to agree what a horrible person she is (see A Random Act of War, Part 2), or you can heal your own childhood wounds. By healing your wounds, you also help your partner heal hers, and thus strengthen and reinforce your relationship (see Do I Stay or Do I Go?).
“You bet on me like I bet on you” – Rod Tidwell, from Jerry Maguire
If you choose blame and denial about your role in your troubled or failed relationship – guess what? – you’ll go and repeat the cycle with your next partner.
If you don’t believe me, go out and try it. Or maybe you have already.
“How’d I get myself into this?” – Jerry Maguire
If you’ve gone from failed relationship to failed relationship, ask yourself: what is the common denominator?
If you’re now launching into a 20 minute answer, then maybe you’re fooling yourself.
“You don’t know what it’s like to be me” – Jerry Maguire
If your answer is “me”, then you know what to do.
“Show me the money!” – Jerry Maguire
How to do it is another story, and is a major theme of this and many other blogs, books and therapy sessions. Know that it is a life-long journey that is filled with wonderful discoveries, beauty, joy, and forgiveness. Remember:
“It’s about the journey, not the destination” – Dad
(If you need a Jerry Maguire quote the only thing I could find that works is, “If you fuck this up I’ll kill you.” It just seemed wrong.)