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Patterns in Relationships
January 14, 2005
1:06 am
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on my way
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I read the threads about relationships, and how they fail. Does anyone ever see how the patterns of what they learned in their family environment with a parent or an influential authority figure affects who you choose as a partner, and sort of determines the kind of failed relationships you might have? RElationships are difficult enough without coming from a dysfunctional family. There seems to be so much confusion in everyone about WHY they are failing. I see so many similarities and patterns.

For example: for me, and I will share: Grwoing up I was the youngest, with an alcoholic father. There was so much stress and turmoil that I vowed I would be the one not to cause any more stress for my mom, who hated my dad, or at least acted as if she did. In short, I became a very well behaved kid, and if I had any problems, I knew no one was available so I went in my room and figured out my own problems. My mother minimized my feelings constantly, I grew up thinking that what I had to say was not improtant, and I learned to keep my feelings to myself. I ended up marrying someone who minimized my feelings, I had no support, emotional or otherwise, and I felt I could do it better on my own, etc. etc.....ALL IN THE PAST, my parents did the best they knew how, and that is over. But my patterns were/are the same.
So when you look at your own relationships, there must be a pattern you can relate to. Once you find a pattern, then maybe you can gain knowledge about how to change it, what questions to ask to change, and what kind of help to seek so that you do not repeat the pattern.

January 14, 2005
9:48 am
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sometruth
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YES!!!!

I agree with you: find the pattern and you can change the pattern.

Lord it's hard to find the patterns all the way down to the core.

Claudia Black's boo "It Will Never Happen to Me" - very good for seeing patterns.

Because I think too, we get it in our heads (at least I did) that there is something WRONG with us...well, no...just, a lot of stuff ingrained....and to read about other people , to read about a whole concept where you can go "OH! Ok, that's totally me, I see why I did that, ok that's how I got this way. Well, cool. I can change that then."

Takes time.

January 14, 2005
11:49 am
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on my way
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Hi some truth, yes it is hard to find the patterns down to the core. Recognizing them is freeing in itself.

January 14, 2005
12:40 pm
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marley
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I have that book, it will never happen to me and I have found it helpful at times for exactly this issue. We absolutely have patterns in relationships, but sometimes we can't see them because we are constantly in the turmoil.

January 14, 2005
8:49 pm
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amiok
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After reading your thread "On My Way", I'm beginning to see a pattern or just becoming aware of patterns that I have repeated several times. My ex-husband was a drinker, gambler, shopaholic-had to have everything and it had to be the best names. Another man I dated came from an alcoholic family, and my recent breakup from my ex-boyfriend from a thread I posted earlier tonight also had similar qualities that my father had.
I don't think we intentionally pick these mates. I think that it is all we know because of our dysfunctional family life. And, I don't think I would know a good relationship if I saw one. I guess in the past I have always needed turmoil and that's whatI got into. I think just knowing that the is the main reason, we really need to look at ourselves and try to break the cycle.
Good Luck to us all.

January 14, 2005
10:21 pm
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workinonit
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"Lord it's hard to find the patterns all the way down to the core. "

Amen to this!!!!!

Since I left my second long term relationship, I have had to admit the common denominator.....ME!!

So, I've looked at my manipultive habits, learned through experiencing manipulation. I've looked at the lack of self esteem, learned through parents who shared the same lack. I've looked at the templates my parents provided for men and women. The feelings of inadequecy within these templates seem to be what I gather around me during a relationship.

Right now, I am seeing a guy. Knowing what I do now about my choices, I knew this would be somewhat the same but figured, maybe I'll learn something and I like him. 4 months later, I am proud to say, I am standing up for myself more, doing less for him(though that codep activity still comes through)and more for myself.

Trying to stay aware of these situations is difficult but once you start doing the awareness thing it happens more and more frequently.

January 14, 2005
10:31 pm
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JohnMurphy
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"I would be the one not to cause any more stress... I knew no one was available so I went in my room and figured out my own problems. My mother minimized my feelings constantly, I grew up thinking that what I had to say was not improtant, and I learned to keep my feelings to myself."

It seems like you're repeating the same pattern on this forum: perhaps you think what you write is not important, or that no one here care about your problems, and so you keep your feelings to yourself and figure out things for yourself such as trying to gain more knowledge, asking questions, trying to find ways out...

You might also notice your feelings about causing stress to us, by trying to cope with your issues. You might become an example and contribute a lot to others by doing so.

January 15, 2005
1:04 am
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wallace
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Once you recognise your pattern, how can you change it? How do you free yourself of the selfish, self-engrossed, superior-attituded **** you are addicted to? How do you unaddict yourself?

January 15, 2005
6:59 am
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amiok
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I'm glad to know that there is hope out there. Good for you "workinonit". Your trying to make a go of it and still keeping yourself as your main focus. I wish u the best of luck with the relationship your in. Keep us posted. I want to learn as much as I can about a healthy relationship.

January 15, 2005
8:24 am
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JohnMurphy
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"Once you recognise your pattern, how can you change it? How do you free yourself of the selfish, self-engrossed, superior-attituded **** you are addicted to? How do you unaddict yourself?"

Once you have recognized a pattern, such as you have done, you were able to successfully ID a set of feelings, and now you are at least "open" to advice and new avenues.

Well, now comes the tough part. For even though the pattern is not healthy it is part of your life. Trying to get rid of it creates a "vacuum" you will need to fill up with a new structure, new healthy relationships, etc.

This is my case. I ID'd a lot of patterns and I struggle to create new healthy ones. I feel I need to do an inordinate effort as I am trying to change patterns which passed down for more than three generations and as a result I cannot depend on family members that developed the pattern.

Yet, typically not everything in one's life or area of trouble is twisted. So, what I basically do is "cut the losers short", i.e., I stick to relationships and situations I feel satisfied and fulfilled with.

I think it's also good to commit to a given goal and "receive" all the feelings that come along the process. (Search for HardBall Process at: http://www.seykota.com/tribe/T...../index.htm and http://www.seykota.com/tribe/G...../index.htm

As you resolve your issues and keep experimenting with new healthy patterns, your relationships and you as person, converge toward something that do work.

January 15, 2005
8:51 am
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JohnMurphy
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The "Trading Tribe Process" was originally developed by Ed Seykota to address psychological issues faced by traders.

I myself got involved in it out of trading issues. Along the process I identified that I had a codependent pattern in my relationships, and started applying the process to the them.

I think it's very beneficial to help codependents get in touch with their own feelings and needs. As an example you might read the interchange with wallace on the thread "Sex Drive & Men".

In order to be successful the process depends a lot on proper "receiving", to facilitate the experience of the feelings we are "unwilling" to experience.

The more one sends, the more he/she learns about good receiving, and vice-versa. Read about it at: http://www.seykota.com/tribe/T...../index.htm and http://www.seykota.com/tribe/G...../index.htm

Perhaps we migth structure a virtual "tribe" here with a set of rules about sending and receiving, where participants can exchange roles, share and receive their feelings? Perhaps a dedicated thread? What do you feel about it?

January 15, 2005
4:37 pm
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on my way
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John, A dedicated thread to this sounds like a good idea to me. I am learning through all of these dialogues. And, appreciate the insight above in comment to my thoughts. "Trying to figure out things for myself, such as trying to gain more knowledge, asking questions, trying to find ways out..."
Was considering this a.m. about how I am constantly on a quest to improve myself...by gaining more knowledge, asking questions, trying to understand different issues....nothing really wrong with that except that it still puts me miles away from receiving myself NOW, that I am OK NOW...it is almost as if it is a wall I put up, or a DELAY, roadblock I put in front of myself, in order to keep me, or waht I think is SAFE. But it isn't safe, I am just prolonging the prison life so to speak. I have to, or rather I will say, I will start to realize I am ok right NOW, and do not have to improve to love myself. Gee, that was hard...a bit scary. Being emotionally self reliant is a bit scary!

January 15, 2005
4:43 pm
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JM, But, how is that I adapt the the same behavior in the threads...about causing stress? Care to elaborate a bit on that one with me?

January 15, 2005
5:56 pm
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JohnMurphy
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"JM, But, how is that I adapt the the same behavior in the threads...about causing stress? Care to elaborate a bit on that one with me?"

Non-codependent people usually acknowledge their feelings, get their needs met through assertive communication and are not afraid of taking time and effort from other people.

January 15, 2005
6:11 pm
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Perfectly true. Asking for help is "weak" or "causes problems" for others...learned behavior. And this really effects my relationships. I hate it. I am afraid of taking time and effort from other people, and it infringes upon my ability to be intimate, or expressive. To help myself out a bit, I choose men who are unavailable, and that I have to work for. My heart is just buried. People who know me say I am kind, sweet, a good person, etc. but I see my heart getting more and more buried in this mess. Yep, I try to do it all on my own. If I don't get it figured out soon, I may lose someone very dear to me...for good.

January 15, 2005
6:19 pm
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As simple as it is, I can't find a balance between what my role is, and another person's role. I generally am the strong one, who is there to help, give advice...when I really need that as well, and don't ask for it. I don't know how, or maybe I just have never been in a relationship, intimate or professional, where I can ask for what I need. I either become obstinate out of fear, or compliant. I know I am codependent, and I don't know all of the answers, but somewhere along the line I learned that I needed to, becasue no one else did.

January 15, 2005
6:42 pm
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amiok
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"on my way" you struck a chord with me when you said, "you don't know what your role is". I feel that way all the time. Either being married or having a steady b/f, I never knew what my role was. I was the good wife, did almost anything my husband wanted to do and I didn't mind, I was a good mother. I basically did everything I was supposed to do by other people's standards.
I don't mind the good mother image. That's something I did on my own. But knowing how to act with my husband, at the time, was whatever he was into I just went along with. He had a very strong personality, so I couln't win no matter how I looked at anything.
But with my ex-b/f, I still did not know what my role is. I look at supposedly healthy people and just watch to see how they act with each other and try to mirror a healthy attitude myself. I guess I did a lot of that when I was a child. My father drank and we never knew what was going to happen. So I guess I watched his every move for fear of something and just went off to my room. Boy, as I say that, that doesn't sound too good. I have a lot of work to do on myself. I know my role as a mother and a friend but as a girlfriend, I have no clue.
Thank God we have this site to air our feelings and listen to other people's thoughts and hopefully learn something from them. I have a lot of learning to do.

January 15, 2005
6:49 pm
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workinonit
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I find sharing my inner feelings when I am upset about something to be very difficult. The differnce for me now though is, I am aware that I have this problem. Recently, I shared this problem with my friend and he said, "that is passive aggresive" I had to think about this comment. You see, I told him I tend to hold back until I am angry and then it comes out wrong.

So, I have started to process a bit more and even though I struggle, I am letting the issue surface sooner. I never thought about passive agressive being my style and I am normally very positive but, that may be because I ignore my feelings. I know this much, I am going through a new process that feels better though alien which must mean I am starting to fill the void left by my vacuuming!!!!

Hey, I would certainly be interested in the thread on Tribal Process. Count me in!!

January 15, 2005
6:54 pm
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Could be enmeshment, I don't know. I am not one to be a doormat, I stand up for myself, but somehow I also lose myself...???

January 15, 2005
7:18 pm
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JohnMurphy
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Typically, a codependent always tries to identify which is their 'role', what they are 'supposed' do within a relationship. Much like: 'which are the rules so that I can obey them?'

You might notice your feelings about trying to figure out things and taking control of the process.

A pattern consistent with living with abandoment is: cutting losers short ( dropping losing or frustating situations short ), willing to take risks ( such as of rejection ) and be willing to manage ( be prepared for ) them, and sticking to winning or mutually satisfying situations or relationships. If you do that you have a chance over the long run.

If you feel you are not prepared, then you can share your feelings about it.

SVO-p can be helpful to clarify your intentions. Subject-Verb-Object uses the "I" pronoun and the present tense, so that you can focus on what is important. Examples:

I want a girlfriend;
I want a boyfriend;
I want love;
I feel like doing...;
I am afraid of...;
I feel powerless...;
I feel sad about...;
I am losing control...;

January 15, 2005
7:18 pm
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JohnMurphy
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Typically, a codependent always tries to identify which is their 'role', what they are 'supposed' do within a relationship. Much like: 'which are the rules so that I can obey them?'

You might notice your feelings about trying to figure out things and taking control of the process.

A pattern consistent with living with abandoment is: cutting losers short ( dropping losing or frustating situations short ), willing to take risks ( such as of rejection ) and be willing to manage ( be prepared for ) them, and sticking to winning or mutually satisfying situations or relationships. If you do that you have a chance over the long run.

If you feel you are not prepared, then you can share your feelings about it.

SVO-p can be helpful to clarify your intentions. Subject-Verb-Object uses the "I" pronoun and the present tense, so that you can focus on what is important. Examples:

I want a girlfriend;
I want a boyfriend;
I want love;
I feel like doing...;
I am afraid of...;
I feel powerless...;
I feel sad about...;
I am losing control...;

January 16, 2005
12:51 am
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on my way
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I can see how this would help the emotional side. But don't you think that it is just geeod to get to a point in your life, where you just relax, take what you have learned and live? I have always thought that I had to have all of the answers, be all together in order for anything to work. I am a walking and talking codependent, spirtitual volume at this point....I have books coming out the ying yang, and of course my love is God, so what am I waiting for? And everyone else is out there doing it, succeeding or failing...and still living. It isn't like I have worts!! I just want to love who I am for NOW, not who I think I always have to be or can be....THAT is unobtainable if I don't see how important NOW is. The concept of knowing that the past makes us who we are...is awesome. I would use my past as a barrier...I can't do this, because I am this, and haven't solved it yet. These concepts are great, so I am going to look more into the SVO-p for now.

January 17, 2005
2:47 pm
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"You can measure your intentions by your results"...I like this. Regarding the "Now" I am there, more than I ever have been...and it feels very good. Taking all of my hard work and going to enjoy it for what it is at this time.

January 17, 2005
4:05 pm
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mine was that my father never did any of the little important things ie: when i was sick he would make me take care of myself, and what do ya know i choose a hubby who did the same, never "inconviencing themselfs for me"

January 17, 2005
4:31 pm
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JohnMurphy
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'"You can measure your intentions by your results"...I like this. Regarding the "Now" I am there, more than I ever have been...and it feels very good.'

OK.

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