New relationships can be quite troubling especially when one or both of the people in it keep comparing each other to past flames. Recently I had to have a discussion with my partner about this very issue as he was doing just that by comparing me to a person he had dated just before meeting me.
I’ve had three long term relationships in my life that have lasted at least two years or more and quite a few others of shorter durations. Each of them had their positive qualities throughout but all of them also had many negative ones as well. Unfortunately, until I figured out that I was carrying the downside of those relationships into the ones that were following it, they all continued to crumble around me, one after another.
It’s really not fair for either person in a couple to bring past relationship baggage onto their current one. It undermines any growth that can happen as they try to become closer to each other. It creates anger and resentments between them. And it fuels arguments that destroy the foundation their relationship was built upon in the first place.
I’m guilty of this and have been doing a massive amount of work in my current relationship to prevent this from happening again. I’ve had a lot of tumultuous relationships in my past. I’ve dated active alcoholics and drug addicts, mentally and emotionally abusive people, and many who had serious issues with spending money wastefully. What I never realized were how much of each of those people were only mirrors for myself to the negative behaviors I still held within. Instead of working on my own issues, I cited them out in the people I dated manifesting arguments in the process and comparing them to the past people I dated who had the same traits. Eventually because of this, my own behaviors sabotaged yet another relationship leaving me single all over again.
Now when I see a behavior that really bothers me in my partner, I look at myself and into my past and see if there is something I am hiding from, holding onto, or not wiling or wanting to let go of. In every case, there always is.
Just because a past partner had no money management abilities doesn’t mean that if my current partner overdrafts his bank account once or twice that it’s going to be that same type of relationship. Just because a past partner was angry all the time and abusive doesn’t mean that if my current partner comes home from work one day and lashes out that it’s going to be just like before. And so on and so forth. In any of these cases when trouble arises now, I look at myself and ask where my part was in all of it. I ask questions such as whether I pushed my partner to spend money they didn’t have or whether I did any behaviors that were selfish and self-centered that provoked the anger? What I learned in doing this was gaining the knowledge that the demise of all of my former relationships were as much my own fault as it was with the people I had dated. I had contributed to the negativity in every case with my own behaviors. The biggest realization though that has come to me in the past year of my life on why I had been in so many previous relationships is that God had been left out of them.
I do not believe any relationship can survive without having God at the center of it. After the initial happy romance phase is over and the real work begins to keep it going, trying to hold it together with control and self-will always failed for me. Personalities took over. The inevitable would then happen with me comparing each of them to someone in the past I dated that I felt they were now becoming. What was really happening was the real me was emerging in the relationship. The one that was broken before I got into the relationship that had never healed. The one that still had past demons within me being carried forward over and over and over again. The one that jumped from person to person experiencing only the short periods of time where the oogly-googly occurred and then leaving when that period was over.
The moral of all of this is that my success in any new relationship needed me to face myself and cut all the cords of attachment I still held onto from my negative past. My success with a partner was also dependent on me remembering the positive things I gained and learned in all of those past relationships. I had to forgive each of them and myself for all of the negative things that had happened throughout it. And most importantly, my success with any partner needed me to ask God each and every day to remain at the center of it, guiding it away from control and self-will, and into only where God sees it heading.
I now have over a year with my current partner. So far it’s the best one I’ve ever had. I thank God for that and I’m glad to realize now how much I can’t hold onto or compare any of my past relationships to my current one if I want it to last. I also realize now that anytime I find myself getting angry over anything with him and find myself comparing him in my head to someone from my past, that its probably an area of my life that still needs healing and I go to God in prayer to resolve it. It always comes back to something within me that was still broken and thankfully, through my prayer, God always leads me to healing it.
Peace, love, light, and joy,
Andrew Arthur Dawson