Why Are My Relationships Like Groundhog Day?

Recognizing unwanted patterns in our relationships is the first step towards changing them.

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Q - I’m getting freaked out that my relationships are like one of those programmes that gets repeated time and again on TV! I’m seeing the same pattern being played out – even though it doesn’t start out like that, or at least I don’t intend it to. I can’t see it happening until I get the old feelings kicking in. Feelings of boredom and feeling trapped and needing to escape so that I can breath again. I’ve had some counselling and now realise that my dad was like this and he kept leaving my mum and then she’d keep taking him back. Why does this pattern keep repeating itself?

A - You have already become aware of your ingrained pattern in relationships – and fortunately you can see that this won’t and can’t bring you what you want in the future.

The next big step is ... what to do about it!

The main issues here are your deeper feelings and the responses they trigger in you. 

If being in a long term relationship brings up feelings of being bored and detached, or feeling trapped and restrained, or a fear of being too attached to someone who might then leave you – what do these feelings then make you want to do?

Ask yourself –

  • What are these feelings trying to tell me, and get me to avoid?

  • What does that avoidant behaviour bring me instead?

  • What feelings do I want to have when I’m in a relationship?

  • What would have to be in place for me to have these preferred feelings?

My guess is that you will discover deeper and painful feelings of rejection and abandonment by your father whose behaviour was emotionally abusive (because it has influenced the path of your relationships since then).

You may find that you’ve been trying to avoid being rejected or abandoned again, and instead you set that up first – and emotionally leave a relationship, before you physically leave.

You must become clear about what you want a relationship outcome to be, then work backwards to the present time. Then become very clear about the positive steps ahead that are needed to take you to your ideal relationship destination.

You have a choice…to keep replaying the old drama and stay fed up with the predictable outcome; or to deliberately write a new screenplay for you and a compatible partner to enjoy.


  • Just because your father was a runner you don’t have to be.

  • Boredom is not about the other person.

  • Relationships are challenging and bring up things like nothing else does. You can examine and learn from those things or you can play truant and never graduate.

It’s not easy – but you’re already part of the way towards change by realising the problem and having the desire to fix it.

Then comes knowing what you want instead, and creating a step by step plan to get you there, allowing for any stumbles along the way.

Maxine Harley (MSc Psychotherapy) MIND HEALER & MENTOR

www.maxineharley.com - Where you will find a page of FREE RESOURCES to help you to begin to recover from a troubled childhood and make peace with the past - and an online self-help guide/course called '3 Steps To Sort Yourself Out - without therapy!'

www.maxineharleymentoring.com - helping women to understand and manage their emotions, boundaries and behaviours - at home and in their workplace/business

www.the-ripple-effect.co.uk- ten online self-help workshops - including ones called Understanding Yourself and Understanding Relationships - which will help you to have much better relationships - including the one you have with yourself

www.qpp.uk.com - a new therapeutic method designed to change the deep seated and unhelpful sub-conscious belief system or S.C.R.I.P.T. (c) Sub-Conscious-Rules-Influencing-Present-Time 

Maxine Harley