What could be normal is for someone to continually end up with people who are unable to truly be there for them. When they are in a relationship, then, it could be as though they are with a child as opposed to an adult.

There is a chance that they are currently in a relationship with someone like this right now. If this is the case, they will be in a situation that is very familiar and they will know exactly how to behave.

One Focus

This will mean that they will spend a lot of time and energy doing things for their partner. Not only will this undermine them but, as their partner needs so much, they won’t be able to give them much in return.

As a result of this, they are likely to often feel deprived and as though they are running on empty. However, by being so focused on their partner, they might seldom realise how malnourished they really are.

Up and down

Every now and again then, they could get to the point where they are no longer able to be there for their partner in this way. They could be so exhausted that it is a challenge for them to get out of bed and focus at work, for instance.

Still, this could be a time when they feel guilty and ashamed and are soon back, doing what they can to help their partner. This could be something that will take a place a few times before they will get to the point where they can no longer carry on in this way.


When it comes to what they do for their partner, there can be what they do for them financially, relationally, emotionally and mentally. So, their partner can overspend and they themselves can end up footing the bill.

Relationally, they can often have to smooth over conflict that their partner has created with others. When it comes to the mental and emotional side of things, they might often act like their partners therapist, with them trying to solve their inner issues.

A Welcome Relief

If this relationship was to come to an end, a big part of them could be greatly relieved. Thanks to how much they gave and how little they received, this is not going to be much of a surprise.

Nonetheless, another part of them can experience a deep sense of loss and feel hopeless and helpless. Based on how they feel, it will be as if they have lost someone significant and who they needed in order to survive.

Inner Conflict

If this is what takes place, they could wonder why they are in such a bad way, especially as the relationship wasn’t very fulfilling and they can survive without them. They could see that this is how they usually feel after a relationship has come to an end.

Before long, they could end up getting into another relationship and the same thing could happen all over again. If so, they could get to the point where they can no longer live in this way and they start to look for answers.

Enough is enough

Ultimately, they will have suffered enough and now a big part of them will want to find a way to change this area of their life. As they have been in this position so many times, it might have occurred to them that they might not just be ‘unlucky’ and that there could be far more to it.

What could soon stand out, by looking for answers, is that they believe that it is their responsibility to sort another person out. Thus, like one of those TV shows where a team of people go into a rundown house and fix it up, they will go into a relationship with someone who is in a bad way and try to fix them up.

What’s going on?

Upon realising this, they could struggle to understand why they have this belief as it will be clear that it is not serving them. If they have been this way for as long as they can remember, there is a strong chance that they formed this belief during their early years.

This may have been a time when they were brought up by at least one parent who was unable to truly be there for them and who looked towards them to be there for them. Therefore, right from the very beginning, they were forced to be a caregiver, and this would have been a time when they needed to receive, not give.

No Other option

As they were powerless and totally dependent, they would have had to adapt to what was going on and lose touch with their own needs and feelings in the process. In other words, their true self would have gone into hiding and they would have automatically created a false self.

They would have lost touch with what was going on internally and ended up being solely focused on what was going on externally. Being there for one or both of their caregivers and perhaps even a sibling or siblings, would have allowed them to receive approval and to survive.

A Natural Outcome

These early experiences would have created an inner model of how they not only need to behave to survive but what they need to do in a relationship. Due to being egocentric at this stage, they would have come to believe that their feelings, needs and wants and true self are inherently bad.

On one side, trying to fix another in a relationship will naturally feel very comfortable at a deeper level and, on the other, the person who they are trying to fix will be an externalisation of the part – or parts - of themselves that is deeply wounded. What they went through will have deeply deprived and wounded them, and they are likely to be carrying a lot of pain that needs to be worked through.


If someone can relate to this and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided with the assistance of a therapist or healer.

Author's Bio: 

Author of 25 books, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis covers all aspects of human transformation, including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, inner child and inner awareness. With over two thousand, eight hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

To find out more go to - http://www.oliverjrcooper.co.uk/

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