Here’s the thing about being ‘triggered’ by something the current SO does due to past SOs’ behaviors; that’s more often than not a lie we tell ourselves because we want it to be true. We want all of the anxiety and insecurity we feel to be our fault. The alternative is too uncomfortable.
In reality, what’s happening is that you have chosen a partner who is helping you recreate the same relationship dynamics you had with the exes. The two people can appear to be as different as night and day, lulling you into thinking that you have finally broken your pattern. But, though the SO may look different and sound different and live a different lifestyle than your exes, your relationship is repeating the same unhealthy dynamic.
Usually, it’s reminiscent of an early experience that was never adequately resolved for you. You came to my unconsciously link love and anxiety.
We are drawn to people who feel familiar. Something about these guys is a common denominator in terms of how your dynamics play out.
We also, again, very often, unconsciously repeat traumatic relationships over and over. We’re trying to gain mastery over a situation over which we once had no control. We try to find a way to put a better ending on it.
It invariably fails, and you’re left wondering why you can’t find a decent partner. What’s wrong with you? The only thing “wrong” is that you are stuck in an old pattern that is not serving you well.
The first step toward freeing yourself is to bring the unconscious material forward, into conscious awareness so it stops leading you around by the nose. A good therapist can be invaluable in this. Also, journaling will allow you to see connections you may have otherwise missed.
When you think of your SO or are with him, ask yourself: when have I felt this way before? Who does he remind me of? Don’t force it. Just keep asking yourself those questions. Your answers will come.
You pretty much have to be flying solo to go through this kind of healing process. A relationship just adds confusion. It will be worth it if you come out on the other side healthier and able to recognize a healthy, honorable men.
Ultimately, we usually find ourselves learning that all of that anxiety and insecurity was not an irrational reaction. It’s actually entirely reality based. That anxiety is your intuition yelling in your ear. You feel insecure because you are insecure. You are involved with a guy who has proven himself to be of poor character. He is not honorable. He is not trustworthy. There’s a strong probability that he is a sexual predator. He lacks impulse control. He doesn’t have or respect healthy boundaries.
For gawd’s sake, being with this guy should make you nervous. That’s adaptive. Your intuition is telling you that you are in danger and you need to flee.
There is no doubt in my mind that it wasn’t much different with your priors.
After you work through the wounds of your past and are ready to meet someone healthy and whole, you will notice an enormous difference. You won’t feel anxious. You will feel lifted up, not dragged down. Your insecurities will be calmed, the good guy’s steadiness and candor will be a balm for your soul. You will know the joy of absolute trust. It’s glorious. Once you remove the source of your suffering, you will be clearing space in your head. This makes it possible to become far more productive and creative than ever before.
You can do this, Bee. You don’t have to live this way.