Do you know people who experience their romances like “déjà vu”? You know? Over and over again? You may see them regularly or periodically. When one relationship breaks up, they get right into another one. Eventually, the similarities between this current relationship and the last one become impossible to ignore. It seems your friend (or you) is in the same relationship, but with a different person (each time around).
The truth is that often women recreate past relationships by projecting dysfunctional beliefs onto their new love interest. Without dealing with dysfunctional ways of thinking and acting some women experience one unsatisfying relationship after another. The problem is that “wherever we go, there we are.”
A lot of what most people (who experience relationship problems) are doing, is (for the most part) outside of their awareness. The same thoughts, feelings and behaviors they have carried with them from childhood are still working on them, along with the wounds from the recent past. People change when they are in pain and realize that what they're doing is not working. It’s my job to help you figure out what you are doing and why and help you come up with new behaviors that make more sense for you.
Healing from romantic relationship problems often involves taking a look at personal, family, work and social relationships. Group therapy can help people become aware of what their behaviors are like and the effect those behaviors have on others. Group members can decide what changes they want to make. In Group, time is spent searching for personal authenticity. Communication skills are taught and practiced. Self-awareness is supported; healing and hope come naturally, and most people find it challenging and often fun.
Helping women become fully aware of themselves and what they really need and want in a romantic relationship can go a long way in preventing future divorce and the heartbreak it brings. Making a relationship commitment that is informed and thorough helps build strong families, neighborhoods and communities.
So when you see your friend who is in the grips of another relationship failure, you may gently want to explain to her that romantic relationship problems are very common and that there is help available which can lead the way to a much brighter future.
Vikki Hoobyar, M.S. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist at Sequoia Counseling Services in Redwood City, California. She holds a weekly therapy groups for single women and can be reached at email@example.com or 650.761-1657.