Groundhog Day Relationships

Posted by Fresh Start Dad on February 3, 2011 in Dating, Emotions, Family, Historical Information, Relationship Advice, Relationships, Self-Esteem |

One of my favorite movies is “Groundhog Day”. Fellow Stargate SG-1 fans should understand that my favorite episode is #406; “Window Of Opportunity”. Not only do I enjoy the acting and the storyline, but I also enjoy the premise. Reliving the same part of your life, the same events, over and over and over…until you get it “right”. An entertaining movie, as well as a premise for a TV show episode. But what happens when it’s not fiction? What happens when you keep repeating a portion of your life over and over? Specifically, when you keep repeating your love life because you haven’t gotten it “right”.

I Hated That! Give Me More
There is a school of thought, which I subscribe to, that says we tend to gravitate toward relationships that we are familiar with, even if it’s a “bad” relationship. It’s this school of thought that contributes to the explanation of why people repeatedly get into abusive relationships. The abuse is what they know.

I Married My Mother
When I was younger I didn’t know the words to describe my mother: narcissistic, insecure, emotionally & psychologically abusive, controlling, passive aggressive, and constantly in self-denial. My childhood was not fun.

The odd thing about all those adjectives is that the first time I heard them all together it wasn’t a description of my mother. It was my friends and family describing my bride-to-be; the egg-donor.

None of my friends liked the egg-donor. In hindsight I understand why. But at the time I simply didn’t see it. Later, when I did see it all, I thought that I was just blinded by  sex  love at the time. I later realized that the real reason was that her behavior was what I was accustomed to, and she was essentially my mother.

Waiting For The Other Shoe
The first (only I suppose) long-term relationship after my divorce started off great. She was attractive, nice, kind, giving, supportive, all my friends liked her, my family liked her. Obviously, there was something wrong, and I kept waiting for whatever it was to appear.

The relationship lasted for just over 5 years. For at least the first 2 years I just didn’t feel right. There was nothing I could put my finger on, no specific behavior that was “wrong”. It just didn’t seem right to me. I would mention it to my friends and family, and tell that I just knew there was something wrong that I hadn’t seen yet.

The problem though wasn’t her. The problem was that she didn’t exhibit the bad behavior that I was so accustomed to with my mother and the egg-donor. The first couple of years in that relationship was really and truly hard to get though, only because it felt so different and so odd. But sticking with it, working with behavior that didn’t feel right comfortable, but that I knew was right, eventually broke me out of that Groundhog Day cycle and kept me in a happy relationship.*

Days Go On Now
I’ve had a couple of relationships since, but nowhere near as long. One was a repeat of the mother/egg-donor behavior and I very quickly was able to leave that. Another was much better, and though we didn’t work out, I didn’t feel uncomfortable in it.

What Day Is On Your Calendar?
What about you? Is it still February 2nd for you? Where are you in that Groundhog Day cycle? Have you recognized that you repeat the same thing? Have you tried to escape from it with self-destructive behavior, only to find that you still repeat it the next time around? Or have you learned how to play the piano and ice sculpt, simply because it’s what you want to do?

*We eventually split up because of totally different behavior than I’d encountered before. She began putting her work ahead of our time together and we began spending less and less time enjoying each other’s company.

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