Q. Last night, the man I was happily in a year-long relationship with confessed he cheated on me.
He went travelling with another girl (lied to me that he was going alone) and slept with her. Things did not work between them. He said he cheated on me, but he does not want to lose me. He was laughing and smiling while narrating what he did. He sounded pathetic to me, absolutely disgusting. And this was not the first time I was hearing all this…
All the men before him have done exactly the same thing. And now I want to understand why.
Why am I attracting the same pattern of behaviour with different men from different cultures, ethnicity and countries? I am sure the problem lies with me and not with those men. Please help me to understand it.
Spiritual gurus insist that everyone we meet is a mirror that reflects back our reality. But I have never cheated, lied, nor am I a sex addict. Nor am I commitment-phobic. I firmly hold my values of truth, integrity, loyalty in place and have always acted from that position. Then why do I attract men who are cheaters, liars and sex addicts?
I am an empath and a highly sensitive person. I am like a tortoise—when outer things are problematic and harsh, I turn inward and take refuge of my shell. I disconnect from the world outside and stop using every media that connects me to human beings. I love being in the four walls of my room. And once I have gathered enough strength—once I feel the storm is over—I move baby steps out of my walled protection.
Please enlighten me on the lesson I am to learn and implement in order to enjoy a loving, caring, trusting and loyal relationship. Last night, I was awake crying and praying to God to send some help to help me understand myself better, so I can break from this kind of pattern of relationship. And when I saw your email up there in your article, I believed that the universe responded to my request.
Hoping to hear from you soon!
A. Without a doubt, this situation is a perplexing one.
How can it be that someone who tries so hard to be a compassionate and loving person can attract that which is seemingly the opposite of who she is? Maybe not at first, but at some point during the relationship the other shoe drops, and the man we thought was our heart’s true compadre turns out to be or do that which hurts us the most. It’s crazy-making and there seem to be no clues as to its origin. But there is one: the pattern itself.
To really get at the heart of why this pattern of attracting unfaithful men emerged for you, I would need to sit down with you and ask several questions about your life, previous patterns that have shown up for you and the ways you handle them (e.g., retreating into your shell like a tortoise when you’ve been hurt). What I can do here is offer an overview of what might be going on.
The laws of attraction.
The spiritual gurus you speak of are right…kind of. Those we meet reflect our personality, in that our brains are geared to find connections with what and who we encounter. It’s how we make our way in the world. When we meet someone, we consciously or unconsciously seek out that which is familiar to us about them. When we find ourselves attracted to dysfunctional people, it does not necessarily mean that we have those same dysfunctions (e.g., you are not a cheater, liar, or sex addict). What it can mean is that there is some unresolved story in your past that is seeking resolution.
Returning to the scene of the crime.
That is, in your pattern of connecting to men with the same troublesome behavior (infidelity), there is an unconscious desire to replay the scenario from your past that didn’t go well (perhaps an unreliable parent who was not “faithful” to your need to be nurtured as a child). We do this over and over again—returning to the scene of the crime, as it were—until we get the happy ending that we want.
What’s wrong is right.
The problem is that we never will. At least, not by bringing dysfunctional people into our lives. The pattern you have is a blessing in that it is asking you to look at what is missing from your life. What didn’t go “right” for you that you are trying to correct unconsciously? For some, it could be a general feeling of being unworthy of love. The work would then be to discover, with the help of a trained therapist, where that belief comes from and how to change it.
Once you discover what unfinished business you have with your psyche and spirit, you will be better able to attract the kind of partner who is worthy of your virtues as a compassionate and caring human being.
Author: Rachel Astarte
Editor: Yoli Ramazzina