Recently I broke up with a man. When meeting him he reminded me of my father, who in many ways was an ideal man for me: he was the same kind, caring, sharing, bright person with a gentle nature.
About a couple of months after we started dating, I began to notice that his behavior was ambivalent and contrived. Both kindness and caring are just a way to impress, to please strangers. He almost stopped showing it to me, on the contrary, he became aggressive, jealous, trying to control everything, to manipulate me with guilt and fear, and even raised his hand. In general, he was the complete opposite of the beautiful prince that I initially liked. Now we are not together, I am ready inwardly to let him go, but I am gnawing with guilt that I could have unconsciously chosen such a “monster” to be my partner.
They say that a partner is a reflection of us, our best and worst sides. There is an opinion that we choose each other for a reason. Am I really that unloving of myself? Am I aggressive and manipulative, too, and just hiding these character traits even from myself? As a child, my mother often punished me physically and was aggressive. Is it possible that this is the model of “love” that I internalized and now unconsciously choose partners that replay my childhood traumas all over again? Please help me to understand. These questions torment me very much and do not allow me to complete the situation and move on.
Nataly, 27 years old
Nataly, you wrote that you deliberately chose a man who’s behavior reminded you of your father. The features of the ideal man diverted your attention from the real signs of the future “monster”. You really wanted to repeat the feelings of childhood, and you were excited to meet a man who resembled your ideal. There is nothing wrong with that. You’ve had that experience, and now you’ll look more closely at men: we often see what we’re looking for, missing, as we think, the little things.
I would be more cautious about psychological labels: “there is an opinion,” “they say. These are variants of domestic psychology, when the most complex mechanism of relationship psychology is simplified. The reasons for choosing this or that partner are subject to comprehensive study. In each case, I consider the fate of the person with his or her unique history and personality traits.
Reconsider and dont forgive domestic violence
You are smart and strong, and you love yourself because you got out of that relationship. Many women get caught up in manipulation, allowing domestic violence. It’s just an experience.
You write that as a child your mother was aggressive toward you. How do you relate to that now? Do you say to yourself, “I won’t let anyone hurt me”? Or is it more likely to say, “It was no big deal”?
It seems to me that you don’t like being the victim, you leave the choice to yourself. But you mentioned the word “unconsciously” several times in your letter, what’s behind that? It feels like you are handing over responsibility for your actions to your subconscious. No, it doesn’t work that way. You are smart and strong, admit it and analyze your actions, their causes and consequences.
Don’t rush to build a system because of one person.
Or has the violence been repeated in every way? It is important to be able to notice when discomfort in the relationship begins, to report it, to try to offer options for change and, if further development is impossible, to terminate the relationship, gaining experience and knowledge of yourself and men – this algorithm works for you? Take a closer look at yourself, you know how to feel and protect yourself.