I was at a meeting last night where (for reasons that escape me) the ladies outnumbered the gentlemen by a noticeable margin. It was cool. It was also remarkable how they – and the men – reported the same problems withdrawing from unhealthy relationships.
Psychologists in general tend to agree that repetitive relationships with the same kind of unsatisfactory partners seem to relate to unresolved childhood issues – perhaps with an abusive or neglectful parent or other caretaker. The theory is that we find similar, confortable-seeming relationships in our later years in which we unconsciously try to “get it right” this time. The results tend to be fairly predictable, since we’re not only choosing the same kinds of people, but also because we’re not really capable of having a good relationship with ourselves – let alone anyone else. Whether or not that’s entirely correct in all cases I’m certainly not qualified to say, but it is interesting how these stories tend to run the in same patterns, over and over again.
These are not the sorts of issues that we normally discuss in the “mainstream” 12-step fellowships, but which are pretty common in the codependency groups and extremely common in the “S” fellowships that deal with sex and relationship addictions (SAA,SA, SLAA, etc.). I mention this simply to let anyone who might identify with the serial relationship story know that there are places out there where folks do understand, and where help is available in a non-shaming, caring environment.
If you relate, Google “sex addiction groups” and see what’s available near you. You don’t have to stay, but you could be cheating your future if you don’t at least check them out.