Holy Crap! I just had a lightbulb moment! You know when you know something, but then you hear it in another way and you think, “Okay now that makes total sense in my mind and my heart!”
Well I had that moment this morning listening to Glennon Doyle’s – We Can Do Hard Things podcast with guest Dr. Becky Kennedy, episode 237. I believe this one is actually a repeat that I have listened to before and loved, but when you are supposed to hear a nugget, you hear it!
I know that my first marriage was a result of taking the role I took in my childhood and carried forward when looking for a partner. I was looking to take “care” of someone who (I thought) was an amazing person who deserved help to unleash their greatness. Aren’t I just amazing??!! – NOT! (insert laughter here)
I have seen that very clearly, have worked through some of it, cleaned out relationships that are “needy” and set boundaries with others. However… That homeostasis of wanting to just be there for someone and help them see their potential is still there and pops out in areas of my life.
Another example, are the people that lived in a very abusive home growing up, and then find themselves in an abusive relationship as an adult. You think, “Don’t they NOT want that again?” Of course they don’t, so why are they drawn to that same shitty situation?
In the episode “Why We Love the Way We Love: Attachment Styles”, Dr Becky says so clearly:
“Attraction in adulthood is activation of our earliest attachment patterns….
Our body is saying… I know how to be the corresponding puzzle piece to this person.”
Okay just sit with that for a minute…. Read it again… I can feel it in my gut, like someone just literally “knocked” the sense into me. I feel a little sick but also more clear, like it all makes sense. Dr Becky says,
“This feels like home, even if it hurts…. Home is home.”
Home is home, and we want to go back there, even if it isn’t a good place – WOW!
“Is attraction a warning sign? Yes, it is anxiety.”
Dr. Becky asks, “How many times do you think a kid had to try to get attention?” It is a very learned and practiced behavior or defense. “So it makes sense why the body would be attracted to the same thing.” The “same” relationships could mean abusive, codependent, living with addiction or a secure attachment relationship.
So the nice part is, it really isn’t our fault. Our body is doing what it has perfected, and attracted to the same type of relationship because it says, “Oh I got this one all figured out, let’s do this.” Well we aren’t building a deck with someone, we are building a LIFE!
Oh man… I don’t know about you, but I want to reprogram myself and make sure my girls, who have learned some habits from me, turn it around before they do the same thing.
Now, just to clarify, I don’t regret my marriage at all. There were so many incredible times and things we created together. But it would have been healthier if I could have been self aware of what was happening with the attraction of that relationship for me. Would I have listened at 22? I don’t know and that is what scares me with my girls. Will they listen? Will they listen to this podcast when I share it with them? I don’t know, but I can continually use myself as an example, take responsibility for what I taught them and give them resources to learn this in their own way.
Life is a journey! If I am being honest, I will tell you I have shame about my divorce and another failed relationship. I feel like I have a lot of things figured out in my life, but haven’t been successful in this area. I don’t like not being successful, but I guess who doesn’t. It has been 7 years since my divorce and I am still amazed I am in the divorce “club”. This is something I am currently working through and look forward to the other side of that emotion.
I tell my friends, I plan to use dating apps for one thing – When I am ready to practice my new tools. I want to use my intuition (the healthy part) to recognize when someone ISN’T a good fit, being okay with that, communicating that clearly and walking away with grace and no guilt. I hear I will be able to get a lot of good practice (giggle).
I hope this concept was as clear to you as it was for me today. But then again, you will hear it when the timing is right. I encourage you to listen to this podcast or others to gain insight into why we are attracted to certain types of people.
Sending you the best (codependent free, of course),