Whenever a guy rejects me after we’ve been going out—whether it was a serious relationship or a brief one—I get angry and lash out at him with a “How dare you reject me, you jerk?” attitude. It only makes these men glad about their decision. I have tried to curb my attitude and behavior, but I did it again recently. A guy broke up with me, and I grabbed his wine as I left the house and slammed it against his door. I can’t believe I did that! Of course, “Just don’t do it; try to convey your pain nicely” is the obvious answer. I’m worried I’m basically an angry, bitter girl. What does this behavior stem from?
It’s born of insecurity that is initiated by a series of small self-betrayals. If you repeatedly betray yourself, it fuels “psycho chick” drama. Luckily, you are awake enough to acknowledge your aberrant behavior and to seek a new life script. To really change, you must understand what drives your self-betrayals. Possibilities: You date men that you secretly consider to be beneath you. When one calls it quits, you are shocked because you expected him to realize what a catch you are for a guy like him. Or, you deny your internal guidance system as it insists all along that the relationship is not working, and then you act betrayed by your man when you actually betrayed yourself. Or, you’ve seen too many stories about desperate housewives and imagine that relationships do not end without violence. Or, you haven’t learned to express anger as it arises, and instead you stockpile it until you have what you imagine is an excuse to go nuclear. Another possibility: You compromise your morals, values or opinions in order to stay in the relationship, changing to meet what you imagine is your man’s idea of perfect. Then you are furious that it was not good enough. Anything feel familiar?
Now it’s my turn. How dare you consider the closure of a relationship to be a rejection of you? The end of a relationship is an acknowledgement that the relationship is not working. It’s an invitation to be ruthless about clearing out the obstacles within yourself that initiate drama. It is a call to meet someone new. That’s all. Don’t use a breakup to validate your insecurity. Toss out the insecurity instead.
I suggest that you contemplate this question: What is my relationship goal? If you are traditional, you expect dating to lead to an exclusive relationship, engagement, marriage (and a baby carriage). If you are nontraditional, you expect dating to lead to living together. If you are spiritual, you understand that everything arrives in your life as a tool for self-understanding and as a call to be of greater service to the world. Keep it that simple, and gradually you will shed the behaviors that make you (and your men) feel crazy.
I have a terrible time making decisions, and this problem is creating havoc in my relationship with my wife. Can you help?
I’ve been reading Never Good Enough: How to Use Perfectionism to Your Advantage Without Letting It Ruin Your Life by Monica Ramirez Basco, Ph.D. She writes, “Perfectionists can have trouble making decisions. They worry about making a wrong decision, so they toss around in their minds two or three possible options and the consequences if each is wrong.” One therapist calls this “ambivalating.” If you tend to wait until a decision is made by someone else or occurs by default, you suffer from perfectionism. The antidote is to trust yourself to be human, instead of expecting yourself to be all knowing, all seeing and divine. It takes practice to love yourself that much, but you are worth it.