Looking Deep, Not Liking the Ripples in the Pool

Copyrighted by Lorna Tedder. Originally published in Third Degree and Rising.

In a discussion of relationship dynamics, my lunch partner made a disturbing remark, but I think maybe she was right.


“People who grow up believing that a ‘close relationship’ is always going to be a battleground and that you’d better hide your inner core from that person if you don’t want them skewering you where you’re most vulnerable…will subconsciously seek out controlling and manipulative people as their life partners.”

The reasoning behind her statement was that people will self-sabotage so they end up with the exact people who will fulfill the prophecy for them. That way, in a relationship that’s a constant power struggle, they can keep their inner core safely hidden away, rationalizing that they’ll just get beaten down (and they usually will) rather than seeking out a partner who will encourage them to see how deep they can go with another person and willing to go to the edge with them…and over.

They choose relationships with people who are emotionally distant and unsupportive but who expect them to be emotionally present and supportive on demand. As a result, they open themselves to repeated woundings, unhappiness, and unfulfillment.

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I think that, er, covers most of my past relationships, though throughout my life, I have repeatedly opened up my inner core to men who had no appreciation for it. Not that all my relationships have been with manipulative and controlling men, but I’m not sure who the last man was in my life who was emotionally available and supportive on a consistent basis. I’ll have to think about it more…because there’s not one who’s coming easily to mind.


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