Why You Keep Dating Men That Hurt You & How To Stop!

By

Why You Keep Dating Men That Hurt You & How To Stop!
Imago Theory in healing past trauma and building trust and love.

You say you want true love, companionship, roses, butterflies, rainbows, and unicorns, and whole enchilada of happily ever after, but you keep finding yourself with distant bad boys, or some version of what is basically the opposite of what it is you want out of relationships.

Well, here's the cold hard truth—it's your unconscious that's choosing. Yup. Sorry sister, but that's the whole damn truth.

There is an amazing thing called Imago Therapy that was started by a brilliant man named Harville Hendrix in 1980. He defines Imago as this: 'the inner unconscious image of the opposite sex' or what you're looking for in a partner but aren't aware of.' Ergo—your unconscious.

So, let me explain this. The theory goes that you will unconsciously choose someone who most closely resembles the person responsible for your childhood wounding in an effort to sort of settle the score. If you can get this person to change, do it differently, you will be healed. So mom and dad are off the hook and your partner, husband, boyfriend is totally responsible now.

So as a basic example, if your dad abandoned you as a child, you are likely to choose unavailable men who will constantly "abandon" you...but if you find that magical man who is willing to change for you and stop abandoning you, you will be healed on a deep, psychic level.

Notice I didn't say, "If you find a man who will love and adore you and stand by your side no matter what" you will be healed. Nope. He won't do it. It's getting the one that mirrors the one who hurt you to change that does the trick.

Now, we all know we can't "make" people change, but the idea of Imago Therapy is that likely two people will match up in their wounding, get married, and keep the wounding cycle alive. Then, in Imago Therapy, they work together to make specific, conscious requests of one another that will work to heal the old wounds. So, you might say to your partner, "It would really touch me if you'd text me 3 times a day and it would really help heal my wounds of feeling abandoned when I don't hear from you all day," and because he totally adores you, he stretches himself to give you this gift (Imago theory also states that you're not entitled to anything; it is really and truly a gift).

So, what if you're not married? What if you're choosing these guys over and over again and this is resonating so deeply in you that you're getting super pissed off just hearing about it? Good news. You can work to heal this stuff yourself. A great coach or a therapist can work with you to see the truth of the choices you're making and work through them to have your adult, conscious brain calling more of the shots more of the time. So don't worry, do the work now, and you won't end up in a marriage that kills you over and over again.

More dating coach advice from YourTango:

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.