Dear Dr.Eve – Why do I keep choosing an unloving partner?

“Dear Dr. Eve
Mother’s Day was so hard for me. I was adopted and I was raised in what could be considered a good home, as I had food and clothing and went to a good school. However, I always longed for my own mother. My adoptive mother was cold and my adoptive father not really around. As an only child, I felt lonely and didn’t do well at school which made me feel stupid and lonelier. Now I am 32 years old, live alone, and struggle to find a loving partner. Why do you think I keep choosing the same unloving quite cruel partner???
Koketso”

Dr.Eve Answers:

“Dear Koketso,
Many women are triggered at this time of Mother’s Day – women who have had miscarriages, lost children, been unable to conceive, aborted children, feel disappointed and distant from their children, had children removed from their care, and the increasing number of women who choose not to have children — and maybe stigmatized. They suffer on Mother’s Day, And of course, my thoughts are with the many children who, like you, have lost their mothers due to adoption, abuse, illness, suicide, violence, divorce- or old age.

Mostly my thoughts turn to children like you who have suffered a different kind of abuse by parents—parents who I am sure never intended to cause harm to their children .. but cause irreparable damage. This abuse is called “Neglect and Abandonment “, and the result of it is trauma. Absent and cold parents leave children feeling insecure and unsafe. Children do all kinds of creative things to make up for this: spend time alone in their rooms, reading, playing lego, staying away from home by finding warm and loving whose parents show kindness and acceptance to them. And like you, these children struggle to attach to safe and secure partners, choosing partners who continue the cycle of neglect and abandonment.

Your way out of this cycle has begun. Just by noticing this pattern, and
reaching out to me, you have begun an awareness that will guide you into a path of healthy intimacy. You have shown courage – it is never easy to do this. It takes time so be patient with yourself as you find a therapist and begin the work of retraining yourself to attach to partners in a healthy way.”

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