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Are You Losing Yourself in Your Partner’s Drama?

Posted Aug 10 2010 6:54pm

If you read the post - Boredom and Relationships - and saw your partner(s), you may be on the flip side of this dynamic. Instead of being the instigator of drama, you choose people who will instigate it for you. Guess what? You are just as invested in drama as your low-boredom-threshold partner. But you will have difficulty seeing this since you’ve cleverly hidden it in the other person’s behavior.

Stable relationships are not necessarily exciting relationships - not once you get past the early enchantment stage. If you tend to date people who keep things stirred up, who instigate drama, and who can’t seem to just enjoy life, there’s something in that dynamic that is attractive to you. Some part of you craves the highs and lows of never knowing where you stand with someone. It’s agony on the downslope and bliss on the upslope. But there’s a heavy price tag for dating a high-drama person: the loss of yourself.

Drama, whether self-created or other-created, keeps you invested in fear. No matter how good the upside of the relationship, in the back of your mind, you’re waiting for the other shoe to drop. Sooner or later, you know there will be another high-drama incident with all of the associated pain and suffering. How can you escape this cycle of despair?

First, invest in YOU. Take a couple of steps back from the relationship and face the reality. Review the roller-coaster ride you’ve been on and acknowledge the truth: IT IS WHAT IT IS. Whatever it’s been in the past is what it will be in the future. Break through denial by seeing it for what it is, not for what you wish it to be. That is the first healing step.

Second, project the past forward and ask yourself honestly if this is what you want in your life. If the answer is “no,” realize that only you have the power to break the pattern. Stop expecting or demanding the other person to change. Instead, change you. How?

Develop an attitude of calm. Stop getting on the roller coaster. When the other person begins to stir things up, be the observer, not the emotionally triggered partner in the drama. Take deep breaths, walk around the block, call a couple of supportive friends - do whatever it takes to get yourself out of a triggered emotional state so that you can respond thoughtfully, calmly, and rationally to the drama du jour.

If you practice this approach, over time you will accomplish one of two things: 1. your partner will gradually calm down because he/she cannot engage you in the drama, or 2. your partner will go away; needing someone who will engage in the drama, he/she will need to seek that dynamic elsewhere. Either way, you will experience a newfound freedom to express yourself authentically and enjoy life. Later, you will attract a new person who shares your desire for stability and joy in everyday living.


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