Do you find that even though you have experienced bad relationships in the past and desire something different this time around, you are still attracted to the same type of person? Many divorced single parents want the best for themselves and their children, yet continue finding themselves in less than healthy relationships with people who are not good for them—or their children. Recovery programs and personal growth studies show that people tend to fall into patterns, and if they have experienced dysfunctional relationships in the past, they tend to continue attracting the wrong people until they actively break the pattern.
Since numerous divorced single parents have come out of dysfunctional relationships, it is important to recognize unhealthy patterns, many of which are carried over from the childhood. Until a person learns to identify and break these patterns, he or she will keep repeating them. Think of the movie Groundhog Day. Who wants to keep repeating the same insanity time after time? Are you ready to break the pattern for good?
Then you will need to start by looking within yourself first. Gary Richmond’s Successful Single Parenting book is a great place to start. It is important not only for yourself, but also for your kids, that you are healed before you move on to other relationships. Richmond stresses these key questions to determine if you are ready to move forward:
- Am I now living more in the present than in the past?
- Have my periods of depression become fewer and farther apart?
- Have I overcome my tendency to look for nurturing or rescue?
- Have I learned to live alone and not be lonely?
- Am I spiritually secure?
- When problems hit, do I have a problem-solving attitude or do I overreact?
- Have I identified my weaknesses and am I willing to work on them?
- Am I thankful for the hard times?
- Do I still entertain fantasies of reconciliation?
- Am I ready to contribute to a new relationship?
- Do I consider myself complete, whether or not I ever remarry?
By asking challenging questions like these and focusing on personal growth, you will begin attracting relationships that work. Single parents, now is the time to break the chains of the past so you can move into a better future!
Please check out http://www.faithlauncher.com/projects/215-50-questions-single-parents-are-asking#/ for more information about Gary Richmond’s single parent ministry. For further reading on healing, growth, and relationships, read Codependent No More by Melody Beattie and The Dance of Intimacy by Harriet Lerner.