Whether you’ve been in a bad relationship, have been cheated on or even been abused, it is possible for you to carry the emotional baggage with you even once the situation itself has passed.
Women especially are vulnerable to emotional hangovers and can let bad experiences affect them continually, even in new relationships.
Unfortunately, until you get a grip on your emotions, you’re slowly going to poison any relationship that you have.
You need to break the patterns in order to move on.
Dear Dan and Jennifer,
Hello, I read your article on the free library and it connected with me. I am very insecure to the extent I am destroying my relationship with my boyfriend. We have been dating now for almost 3 yrs. He has been sincere but I somehow still manage to not having any faith in him. My ex’s cheated on me and my boyfriend says I am carrying it over into our relationship.
I hate the fact that I am becoming such a monster, that I can’t control my thoughts and that I am loosing the man I want as a husband. We want to start 2008 fresh.
How does one ‘let go and let things be?’ How can I solve my problems? How can I clear my head and heart out and move forward? Where do I start and what should I do? Please help.
– Ulrika, South Africa
Recognizing that this is happening is the first step to emotional recovery. It takes a lot of courage to face something head on, especially if it’s an emotional issue you’ve been trying to keep buried.
Recognizing that past relationships are affecting your current one is a milestone, and if you’ve even come that far, you should take a breath and congratulate yourself.
Know Your Triggers
Is there something that triggers you to revert back to your old relationships, at least in your unconscious mind? You may not know them right away, so it’s important to work towards discovering them.
You can write down what happens when you start to push your partner away, or if you become withdrawn or even angry. This is much easier to do once you’ve really recognized what your behavior is.
The ”why” will come later! After some time of writing down or keeping track of what happens when your behavior comes into play, you will begin to notice a pattern.
Knowing Your Patterns
With consistency, you’ll begin to learn more about yourself and your behavior patterns. You’ll know what triggers you, and the sequence of events that happen afterward. Do you get angry? Do you become withdrawn? Do you suspect your current partner to be cheating on you, just because your old partners did?
After some time of really being open and honest with yourself about your behavior patterns, you will be able to understand more of what is going on and then you can begin to delve into the deeper aspects of why this may be happening.
Counseling is a wonderful option for people who are carrying around emotional baggage. An unbiased therapist can help you to work through your emotional issues and let them go. Be it a traditional counselor, a new age healer or a hypnotherapist, they can use their knowledge and expertise about the human psyche to help you gain back control over your life and your relationships.
Remember, your therapist is not there to solve your problems for you. They are going to give you the tools you need to work through the problems on your own, and the right therapist will be with you every step of the way.
During this process, you should be open and honest with your partner. Now is not the time to hide things from them, because you’ll need their support more than ever. Any partner worth their salt will be understanding and willing to help you, because you’re willing to help yourself.
If you find that you need to be alone to truly come to grips with yourself and get rid of your emotional hangover, be honest about that too. Chances are you’ll be respected and given your space. Give yourself time and lots of love, and you can start on the path to healing and emotional recovery!