Why do I always end up wth bad relationships?

  • Why do I always end up with bad relationships?

I will now give an example of what can happen in a relationship when you have an abandonment schema:

You have seen a gorgeous person on your evening and there has been an instant attraction from both sides (10 on a scale fron 1-10). You start a passionate relationship and you can´t think about anything else. A big problem though that you try not to think about is that your partner is married and  she/he is only available in an unpredictable way. You can get a call anytime and a suggestion about where to meet and this makes it hard for you plan your life. But since you feel madly in love you cancel other things that you have planned when your partner calls and after a while you start making less plans with people so that you can be available whenever your partner calls. You feel helplessly in love and even though  you might know somewhere in the back of your head that this isn´t good for you, you feel helpless and you can also get angry at people who try to tell you that this person isn´t good for your needs and that he/she will probably not leave his/her  wife/husband.

If you continue to keep on like this for a while you´ll probably feel anxiety, anger, despair most of the time and the longer this keeps on going while you´re hoping for your partner to divorce, the the worse you´ll feel. If you have an abandonment schema you´ll  probalby have a hard time pulling back from a relationship like this. Feeling that you partner is available sometimes but never knowing when is probably a situation something that you in some way are used to from your childhood. You feel great sometimes but if you analyze how often it will probably be around 5-10 percent of the time. The rest of the time will be filled with negative feelings. You feel like you don´t know if you´ll be abandoned or not but you think that if you endure some more time you´ll finally be together with your partner.

In the end (if your partner doesn´t live his/her h usband/wife, there is a risk that you´ll continue like this until you feel so that you are so overfilled with anxiety so that you can hardly function. When you are out from a relationship like described above it is not unusual to think “relationships are not for me and I´m better off alone”. This can go on until you feel you are strong again and then it´s not unusual to repeat the whole procedure with someone else.

This was an example of how the abandonment schema can put you in a viscious circle, there are more ways to react in a relationship out of having this schema. If you recognize yourself in what I have described above, the good news is that there is a way to get out of the vicious circle. I will write more about that soon.

To be continued…

Why do I get attracted to people who are not good for me?

Sometimes, all of us can meet someone we fall in love with and after a while we realize that this person isn´t good for us. The reasons might be for example that the person isn´t totally available beause he/she is married (with a person, work, or some other addiction), live abroad, change moods often etc. The point is that the person in unavailbale and give us a feeling that we are on the verge on being left. We move between feeling hope and happiness to feeling grief and hopelessness. Since the psyche hates feeling out of control this situation is extremely draining. Now, if  we  comes from a background where we have had parents with whom we have formed a secure attachment (I will talk more abou attachment later), we probably won´t put up with this situation for too long, simply because we have learned to take care of our needs and be nice to ourselves.

But if we have had a background where we have felt some kind of abandonment (a parent died, the primary caretaker (often the mother), was hospitalized often, the parent had some kind of addiction and changed moods often or simply had big mood swings that were unpredictable , the parent divorced or had big fights, etc.), in some cases  we form an abandonmnet schema which makes us either choose relationships that are destructive for us or we take the roll as being the “leavers” in relationships and we are haunted by the feeling that we will always be lonely.

If wyou find ourselves in a destructive relationship once, it might be a coincidence, but if you look back and realize that there is a pattern, yu might check if you have a abandnoment schema. A schema means your unconscious innermost thoughts you have about yourself. If those thoughts are (I will be abandoned and I will always be lonely), you often create a self fulfilling prophesy. Remember that I have earlier sais that the psyche acts on what feels least painful at the moment and those stategies often form a vicious circle which can leads to a selffulfilling prophesy.

Jeffrey Young, the founder of Schema focused therapy ( it is like cognitive behavior therapy with more focus on the background and how the destructive patterns that affect our lives here and now) were formed, have found different schemas that we form depending on our background and our temeperament. He describes them with Janet Klosko in their fantastic book “Reinventing your life”, which I warmly recommend you to read. I think it is one of the best psychology books that have been written.

Young means that the abandnoment schema is preverbal (you got it it before you could talk, which psychologically means that you had even less control over the situation) and that is the reason why this is one of the schemas that leads to paralyzing anxiety. To understand what kind of anxiety you can think of how a child react in a crowd when it loses sight of its parents.

To be continued….

KBT psykologen reflects on life issues

Meeting patients every day makes me reflect on many things. The past days, I have been thinking about that sometimes in life, when we meet people, we perceive it as unfair if we see that everything in their life tends to move forward in a smooth way. They make a fast carreer or they have met a partner who is attentive of their needs etc.

My thoughts about this is this  is  a very common thought error to take out part of a cake in someone´s life and compare it to something in our own life that we are not satisfied with. But it´s also important to get conscious about that it is a thought error and that it makes us feel miserable. First of all we can save a lot of energy we put on the comparison to see if we can find something in our own life where we can put energy in order to feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we try to do this but we think that it impossible to stop the thoughts about the comparisons. Often that is true; the more we try to stop  to think about a certain thing, the more we think about it. My suggestion here is to try and fill your life with behaviors that make you feel good in the long run. If you don´t know what those behaviors might be, try different things, for example, take a class in Japanese, learn tango, learn more about chocolate or wine etc. After when the behaviors are done, register your feelings and in this way you will become more satisfied in the long run and think less about others.

Moreover if despite the strategies above you can´t help comparing yourself, then at least take the whole cake in someone´s life and compare to your life. May be someone has a great carreer but bad contact with their child, may be the other person has money but he or she has a bad family situation etc.  Thinking in this way you will get a more objective view of how things are and you will often feel less miserable.

Meeting patients every day makes me reflect on many things. The past days, I have been thinking about that sometimes in life, when we meet people, we perceive it as unfair if we see that everything in their life tends to move forward in a smooth way. They make a fast carreer or they have met a partner who is attentive of their needs etc.

My thoughts about this is this  is  a very common thought error to take out part of a cake in someone´s life and compare it to something in our own life that we are not satisfied with. But it´s also important to get conscious about that it is a thought error and that it makes us feel miserable. First of all we can save a lot of energy we put on the comparison to see if we can find something in our own life where we can put energy in order to feel better about ourselves. Sometimes we try to do this but we think that it impossible to stop the thoughts about the comparisons. Often that is true; the more we try to stop  to think about a certain thing, the more we think about it. My suggestion here is to try and fill your life with behaviors that make you feel good in the long run. If you don´t know what those behaviors might be, try different things, for example, take a class in Japanese, learn tango, learn more about chocolate or wine etc. After when the behaviors are done, register your feelings and in this way you will become more satisfied in the long run and think less about others.

Moreover if despite the strategies above you can´t help comparing yourself, then at least take the whole cake in someone´s life and compare to your life. May be someone has a great carreer but bad contact with their child, may be the other person has money but he or she has a bad family situation etc.  Thinking in this way you will get a more objective view of how things are and you will often feel less miserable.