Bad love

Joey Garcia

My girlfriend and I broke up because of her temper. She is a sweet woman but has a side that I could not deal with. She would just explode at me, screaming and throwing things. This is the second rocky relationship I have had. I don’t know why I keep attracting women who are awful to me. Please help.

It’s painful to realize that our choices directly impact, and often create, our reality. The beauty in your realization is the willingness to take 100 percent responsibility for attracting partners who cannot meet you in love. By not acting like a victim, you unlock your ability to understand the situation from a new perspective. Like this: Is your partner’s emotionally abusive behavior related to an unloved aspect of your own personality? In other words, do you explode at yourself, spewing criticisms and judgments? If so, the situation you are in might be an outer reflection of your interior experience. But that doesn’t mean you should stay with a partner who screams at you. It was smart to leave, and it’s smarter to stay away.

The end of your relationship allows you more personal time. Use it wisely. Invest in daily journaling about what you say when you talk to yourself. Trace each criticism to the first person you remember using the same or similar words against you. Notice whether you sling criticism toward yourself in an attempt to spur motivation. Sound crazy? Well, some people motivate themselves through self-hate. They seek change, not for the joy of self-actualization, but because they fear not being good enough. There are other ways to live. You might find additional insight by reading How to Be An Adult in Relationships by David Richo. It’s one of my favorite books about creating healthy relationships.

My boyfriend has been distant so I snooped through his wallet and phone. I discovered that he is communicating with a female friend from college. He keeps sending her messages saying that he would love to visit. We’ve already had a blowout because his last ex-girlfriend texts him every day, and the one before her calls him regularly. I don’t want to break up but I think that’s what is going to happen. He isn’t honest or very trustworthy but I love him. What should I do?

Accept the truth: Your boyfriend’s connection with his exes doesn’t mean he is cheating, or likely to cheat. It does mean he doesn’t care as much about your feelings as you wish he did. Here’s how it should unfold: Once we share valid concerns with a partner, he or she ought to care enough to find a mutually agreeable solution. It doesn’t sound like that happened. Did your boyfriend listen to your fears, then blow them off? He might believe that once he loves someone, that love should last a lifetime. I agree that genuine love is eternal. But when a committed relationship ends, the intensity of contact must shift accordingly. So on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 as the highest level of emotional intimacy, a post-relationship connection should be at 1, 2 or 3. Otherwise it tends to interfere with the primary dating relationship.

Now you have a decision to make: Be in your man’s harem and don’t complain. Or opt out, and find a man who lives in the present and sees you as his future.

Meditation of the week
“We turn to God when our foundations are shaking, only to learn that it is God who is shaking them,” said Charles C. West, scholar and author. Can you feel the earth move under your feet?

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