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Dysfunctional Relations
Hope for Broken Hearted Lovers

An Essay on Dysfunctional Relationships



With all the conversations and time devoted to failed love relationships, the most significant reason for their failure is overlooked.  Many articles are written on the subject. The list of these run-of-the-mill quixotic stories is long: From Soul Mates to Kindred Spirits or How to Find the Right Lover or When Your Relationship Needs A Break, and so on. Unfortunately, understanding the true nature of dysfunctional relationships is usually  overlooked. 

The breakdown of romantic relationships most often has more to do with one's emotional scars from the past. My personal experience and observation of people over many years has proven this point more times than I could possibly recall. 

Most failed relationships begin with partners who are unconsciously seeking a person to either repair or to fill the void that was left from their childhood relationships with their mothers or fathers. This concept is often alien to the ego and smarts of a Freudian twist, but truth is neither a servant to trend or denial.

Many men unknowingly seek women who they believe will make good replacements to finish the business that was left undone by their mothers. When they feel they may be able to get what they should have had all along, they are quite elated about their new love prospect. Of course, no one can possibly fill that frozen need nor should anyone even try. When reality sets in and the honeymoon ends, disappointment and anger invariably follow.  And, this is when blame game  begins.
As soon as these men (or women) begin to feel they are getting love and support, they immediately grow bored and less attracted sexually to their new partners. In essence, they feel that they finally got their mommy or daddy back, but of course that is not enough. After finding their new found mothers and dads, they now want to go out and find their "true" love mates. They have no idea that the void left from their childhoods is a bottomless pit and once again it will undermine their next affair. In the wake of their perpetual denial, the wreckage of broken relationships mount. 
How sad that most of these people have no idea what is driving their need to move on; the endless process of rationalization ensues. Sometimes the pent-up outrage that  was buried long ago forces them to become offensive. The same is true of women who seek men to serve them better than their stoic fathers who had failed to show them affection.  If they do not get what they think they are owed, they become vengeful, depressed, or even abusive. In the early stages of their relationships, the prospect of love and attention from their new partner is usually exhilarating. "This is who I've been looking for all along." These are familiar comments new lovers make - not realizing their perception of the other person is mostly imagined.  They are unaware that they have made their partners into wishful creations - makeshift candidates designed to satisfy the demands of their ghostly inner child.

Of course, there are all kinds of excuses used to justify their disenchantment. Blaming the other partner for his or her own shortcomings even feels satisfying - at least for a while. Unwittingly they continue to deny and hide the true nature of their malady. Sometimes, but rarely, the pattern of these conflicted souls become evident.  Nevertheless, their awareness is often fleeting. Yet, beyond the demands caused by their frozen needs, they want and deserve to share the genuine love that all human beings cherish. Resolving this issue presents a formidable challenge.
For some, it requires hard work and pain to finally admit that their childhood needs were not met. Their egos and loyalties are affronted by the prospect. To believe that their parents had failed them in any way and that they alone are now responsible for their list of failed relationships is unpleasant to look upon. Despite this reality, they must become willing to move on and say goodbye, if they truly want to build a new and better life.
The simple truth that "my parents did the best they could" does nothing to heal the past, though it is usually uttered with conviction and great  aplomb. On occasion, an insightful sufferer will break loose from their denial and seek help. And even more rare - a person riddled with this insatiable need will be blessed by finding the right counselor to help them leave their unwanted baggage behind. They can then finish the task that they have avoided for years: to mourn the loss of the childhood that they never really had, but always wanted.
What a wondrous event it is to see a person leave behind the ghost that has wreaked havoc in their lives and the lives of others.  It is nothing less dramatic than the vindication and release of an innocent captive, who had spent years of lonely imprisonment in the dark. For those willing to face the frozen needs of their childhood ghosts, genuine hope is more than just an empty wish; it is their key to finally opening the door to finding emotional freedom and the ability to share in loving, enduring, and romantic relationships. For many of us, it requires vigilance to destroy the denial and to accept the truth about ourselves.  And for some of us, extra help is often the best alternative.  I was one that needed that and will always be grateful to the counselor that helped me learn to mourn the loss of the childhood that I never had.  Though no one could ever fix the past for me, by giving it up, I gained the wonderful freedom of living and growing  in the present world unbridled by fantom demands.

In loving appreciation to 

Dr. Michael Watson for inspiring me to look within. Printed on the wall of his waiting room were these words:

“The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.”

Jane Doe - Another Company, LLC