If a wound doesn’t heal properly, it will fester.
Before the advent of modern medicine many wounds would become infected and it would subsequently spread throughout the body to cause death. In the present day, our internal wounds can do the same thing. That emotional wound, that pain, runs rampant through your emotional system.
When not healed, it can subconsciously affect your relationships. The feelings of neglect, emotional unavailability, alcoholism or substance abuse, anger, lack of attachment, lack of boundaries, criticism, feelings of unworthiness – all of that pain causes a wound. Thus, those wounds are within your subconscious and become the driving force in choosing relational partners.
The familiar pain, the known feeling of chasing a woman who isn’t interested mirrors the feeling of an unavailable mother, or the constant yelling of a boyfriend is a reminder of the rage of an angry father. People that had critical or withdrawn parents will also choose people who are withdrawn and critical. There usually isn’t an awareness of this pull to the familiar.
It is so difficult to disconnect from our childhood experiences that we will be drawn to people that share the same characteristics of a parent who hurt us in the same way. It is hardly perceptible, yet our unconscious mind is highly connected to our conscious. It is a natural inclination to attempt to have a do-over from the feelings of being a helpless child and not able to control any situations and not knowing how to handle it even if it was possible.
When engaging with a new person the old feelings are projected. If the person is stable then then that will feel too foreign and we may think that they are too boring or there is no chemistry. The very same things we might say we want in a partner are not enough if the comfortable and familiar pain is not there.
We might be saying one thing, but our actions show something very different. That resistance is the acknowledgement, the clue that you have emotional work to do.
The more emotionally healthy you get, then you will begin to welcome that lack of repeated feelings. You will lean into stability and be confident about what you bring to the table and the partners you choose. You can have this recognition with your partner and both of you have emotional growth and both see each other in a different perspective.