"It’s time for me to move on. I’ve learned so much – I just know that next time it will be better."
"Our new relationship has a great chance, because we’ve both been married before and have learned a lot. We know that this time around we will do it so much better."
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Is this true? Apparently not! According to research by Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology in Springfield, Missouri, while 50 percent of first marriages end in divorce, 67 percent of second marriages and 74 percent of third marriages end in divorce. Is this surprising?
From my experience, most people who end their marriages have not learned what they need to learn, so they take their same fears, insecurities and their resulting controlling and self-abandoning behaviors with them into their second and third marriages. Of course, eventually they create the same or similar relationship system.
Most people who leave marriages believe that the problem is mostly their partner. But relationships are systems with both people participating in its organization. If you are not aware of the overt and subtle ways you control and abandon yourself in your relationship, then you will take all your wounded behaviors with you into your next relationship. Am I Doomed To Get A Divorce? [VIDEO]
The thing is, we keep attracting the same kind of person as long as we are the same kind of person.
I’ve long maintained that leaving a marriage before you have dealt with your own controlling and self-abandoning behaviors is often a waste of time (unless you are in physical and/or emotional danger). Now the research on marriage proves this to be true. If partners were devoted to healing their controlling, self-abandoning wounded selves, the divorce statistics would go way down – for first, second and third marriages.
The Real Issue Behind These Statistics
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Self-abandonment leads to trying to control your partner into giving you the attention and approval you are not giving to yourself. There is little possibility of sharing love, fun and passion with your partner when your intent is to have control over getting love and to avoid both the pain of your own self-abandonment, and the inevitable loneliness and heartache that exist in all relationships to varying degrees. Until your intent changes from protecting/controlling to learning to love yourself and sharing your love with your partner, you will keep creating the same relationship dynamics over and over.
Ryan consulted with me because the love of his life – the woman he thought he would spend the rest of his life with, left him after an intense six-month courtship. Both Ryan and Roz had been married before. In fact, Ron had been married three times before. While in their early 60s their relationship seemed made in heaven. They could laugh and play together, and the chemistry between them was intense.