People who are unhappy with themselves and afraid of being alone are alone even if they are married. Due to their fear of being alone they make poor decisions and most of the time decisions are made from a feeling of desperation. Childhood abuse or chaotic family situations can cause a child grief and self loathing. This does not go away. They choose a partner that represents how they feel about themselves. Part of the reason parenting is so important is because you are giving your child not only a loving environment to grow up in, but also you are helping form their relationships as an adult for years to come.
One of the more common predicaments I see with couples therapy is one of the partners has fallen out of love, but is afraid to leave because they don’t want to be alone. Due to their fear and lost connection with their spouse they reach for another person to comfort them. This threesome usually leads to the demise of the couple’s marriage, and the children involved carry that legacy on. People who tell me they no longer love their spouse, but have found a friend or perfect partner in someone else are people who don’t love themselves. In truth, the person who is married but seeking another for comfort and connection doesn’t love anyone. They are correct when they say they no longer love their spouse; they may never have loved their spouse. You cannot love someone when you don’t like yourself, because you attract someone who loves you at the level you are at. What is difficult for them to see is when you are unhappy and attract a new friend or lover, when you are at perhaps your lowest level of self-esteem. This is not a good time to be choosing partners and very rarely do you make a wise choice. When you love someone, you want to protect them and therefore you would never put them in the middle of a triangle that you constructed. The only person protected in the triangle is you, and that will only be a short time, because the chances are high that both your spouse and lover will leave you once they find out what happened. This question came to me last week after a Fox 26 segment. This was so apparent and real from the question, that I had to answer the viewer frankly. This viewer was so clouded by the triangle they had constructed that they could no longer see.
Dear Mary Jo,
I was watching Fox TV 26 this morning and it was like you were talking to me. I'm in a marriage that I don't want to be in, but I'm scared to be alone. I have a friend on the side that doesn't understand why I stay and loves me as well. I'm stuck in a relationship that I don't want, and in love with someone who I'm scared might leave me. Thank you! P.T.
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