Why do some people repeat the same relationship mistakes over and over? They no sooner get rid of one loser then they team up with another who has the same or similar types of negative personality traits. Although family and friends may try to warn them that this relationship will be yet another disaster, the person in question will entertain no criticism about the wisdom of his choice. He’s “in love” and that’s it.
Here are some possible reasons for this profound lack of judgment in an otherwise normally-intelligent human being :
* Poor self image
Somewhere along the line, he has internalized the idea that he’s not worth much. Perhaps he had a sibling who was extremely gifted and continually praised, while everyone seemed to overlook him. Maybe she had a sister who was a beauty queen, while she was the “plain Jane” of the family. These people are so grateful when anyone pays attention to them, they’re willing to become their servant for life. Controlling types just love these mates.
* Fear of being alone
Some people are uncomfortable with their own company. Perhaps they went from home directly into a bad marriage. After the divorce, they panic and enter another ill-conceived relationship, just to avoid being alone. They need to take time to adjust, pamper themselves, and become their own best friend. Only then will they be able to judge clearly enough to choose a suitable lifetime partner.
* Trying to replace a missing parent figure
Today, unfortunately, there are many single-parent families. Girls who grow up without a father-figure, will often choose an older, assertive-type mate who may not be a suitable match in other ways. A boy from a motherless home will look for a motherly type, whom he believes will always dote on him, while she takes charge and sees that his life runs as smoothly as possible.
* Children of a dysfunctional marriage
Some people lack good role models showing how spouses should relate to each other. The girls grow up thinking that all men are rude and abusive, and the boys may believe that normal women will tolerate the odd affair and may have a few drinks before breakfast.
* Focusing on one prerequisite to the exclusion of others
The tabloids are full of stories and pictures of men who married beauties in order to have a “trophy wife” to show off, only to discover later that the outer goddess masked a spoiled, immature shrew. The young lady who was determined to marry only a rich husband, will quickly discover that money does not buy happiness, health, compatibility, or any of the truly important things in life.
After an unsatisfactory relationship ends, a wise person will take time for reflection. What went wrong? Why did I choose him or her in the first place? What traits would my ideal mate possess? Are there attitude adjustments I need to make?
If the answers seem elusive or impossible to figure out, a good therapist could be a necessity. Sure, the process may be expensive, inconvenient and time-consuming, but isn’t it a better alternative than making the same mistake over and over and over again?
Most normally-intelligent human beings would think so.