It’s Called “Rear-view Living”

I’ve seen it in my own life. I’ve seen it in others’ lives. Why do I keep getting in bad relationships? Why do I keep choosing druggies, abusers, violent men, etc?
This, my friends, is rear-view living. Absent father? Present father but POS dad? Uncaring mother? Abusive parents? Abusive first love? Yeah, rear-view living is when we put ourselves in similar situations and expect different results. Essentially the definition of insanity. The thing is, it’s all subconscious. You don’t contemplate this plan of action and say, “I’m gonna change the outcome!” You just somehow find yourself in relationships that repeat and it’s all because you’re trying to right a wrong.

*Dear goodness, this better not be me with my husband because life is too amazing with him.*

What is this idea based on? In working with trauma survivors, I hear of teens who want to drink from sippy cups, older kids who regress to putting harmful objects in their mouths like a 1-year-old, and adults who have the most fun playing in dirt piles. Why? A lot of times, it is due to trauma that occurred at the ages they’ve regressed to, so they go back to those behaviors to replay a time when something wasn’t developmentally appropriate (trauma) and try to have a different result. Many times, parents try to stifle those behaviors (not helpful). Those essential feelings of comfort and security can actually be manifested in those reenactments with proper knowledge. Parent: give the teen a sippy cup AND have him/her cuddle you while they drink. Weird? Yeah, but effective as it forms appropriate attachment.

The problem? As adults, sometimes we dont have those people to form appropriate attachments we were deprived of growing up, so we replay them with partners, friends, whoever.

So, step 1 is to recognize the connection. What did you lack growing up? Care? Nurturing parents? Was there abuse? Etc. Second, seek outside help (and take advice) of others. I had to read a book in my premarial counseling course called Dating and the Single Parent by Ron Deal. It has common sense advice on green, yellow, and red lights in relationships. When to stop seeing someone etc, but for some people, it’s not so common. They play off the situations and say, “oh it’ll be different this time.” They make excuses for the person (that was me at one point). So, the third step is to APPLY what others tell you. Books, senior pastors, trusted friends or relatives. If there’s a situation you feel uneasy about, don’t blow it off. So yes, being cautious may lead to a longer single life, but honestly, you have to be happy with who you are before you can be with someone else. And the goal of dating someone is not to mold them into what you want them to be but to love them- it’s a selfless thing not selfish.

Sorry for typo’s as this was written from my phone.


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