When they are able to recognize this as a pattern, they can take the steps to create a healthier pattern.

Granted, I spent a great deal of time jumping from one relationship to another. I was married for five years (my five pattern), then single for five, then married for five a second time and single for another five years after that before I broke the pattern and was in a seven year relationship.

Most people can’t imagine being in so many relationships, but it was a pattern I established and until I became aware of it, I couldn’t change it. I yearned for the long term relationship I witnessed with my friends. They had fun, healthy, solid loving spouses. But I could never seem to get it right. But then how could I? I didn’t have the knowledge or the skills.

I also attracted men into my life who were just as dysfunctional as I was, but their dysfunctions were different than mine. They had their own patterns and brought their experiences to the relationship. Good or bad, they were doing what they knew and no one could expect anything different.

But it wasn’t until my seven year relationship with Michael when I finally became aware of the ill effects of my five-year patterns. It was the first time in my life I was capable of loving anyone unconditionally. It was the first time in my life I was able to trust a man completely. It was the first time in my life I had developed healthy relationship skills and he was the first man who was willing to work through the kinks.

I have never known of anyone who changed as much as he did. He had learned to yell to get his way. But after a year with me he learned to talk through his frustrations. He was angry about his first two marriages when I met him but he learned to view them as the lessons they were, instead of feeling as though he was victimized.

All behavior is learned, all behavior can be re-learned to become positive.


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