I am engaged to be married in 5 months to my boyfriend of 5 years. We’ve had a very rocky relationship, with many fights and a lot of wasted time blaming each other. We seem to be opposites in lots of ways and don’t have a lot of the same interests.I love him very much, but the problem is that every time we hang out with my boyfriend’s best friend, I get confused. Let’s call him Bob. Bob and I are exactly the same. We have similar interests and almost identical personalities. We always find ourselves thinking exactly the same thing and can finish each other’s thoughts.I am physically attracted to my finace and not really attracted to Bob, but I’m always left with the feeling that I would have less fights and be happier with someone like Bob. I don’t know what to do about these thoughts because there’s not really anyone I can talk to about them. And I’m worried that I might be making a mistake marrying my fiance, who is really a great guy.Currently, my fiance and I are in couples’ therapy, but we still have problems communicating
I can see why you have your doubts about marrying your fiance. I think you need to ask yourself, ‘Why would I consider marrying a man with whom I argue constantly?’Realize that even though fighting is painful, it often serves an unconscious purpose for both partners. If it weren’t meeting unconscious needs, you would have been long gone. So, find out what needs are being satisfied by the constant arguing.In my new book, Till Death Do Us Part (Unless I Kill You First), I explain that some couples are ‘Fighting Junkies’ which means that they are actually addicted to fighting. For these couples, fighting serves the purpose of helping them to avoid closeness and intimacy. Does this seem like your case?Unfinished childhood business is another common cause of chronic fighting. Many people unconsciously restage their parents’ battles, partly because humans gravitate to familiar territory, and partly in an effort to emotionally purge the painful feelings that stem from watching our parents fight.Unfortunately this method of working through never does work because instead of purging the bad feelings from the past, we find ourselves manufacturing painful feelings in the present, which leaves us prisoners of the past as well as the present.You may also be fighting with your mate in an attempt to achieve a resolution to old wounds that you suffered in childhood.In a nutshell, humans tend to choose lovers and partners who resemble the parents who let them down. We do this so that we can replay the wounds of childhood with someone who symbolizes the person who disappointed us way back when. The dream is that this time around we will heal our old wounds.For example, a woman’s whose father had no time for her marries a man who is always out of town. She finds herself struggling to get her husband to pay attention to her, just the way she fought to obtain her father’s time. If she succeeds in winning her husband’s attention, she will feel that the wound with her dad is finally healed.But, her plan doesn’t work because her husband is so much like her dad that he can’t give her any more attention than dad did. But she can’t give up because the wish to heal her scars pushes her to try again and again.The chapter in my new book called Old Scars will help you decipher what piece of your past may be causing your fights. When you identify your Old Scar, you will understand why you are hanging on to this man. Then, you can make a clear-headed decision about whether or not you stand a chance of healing with him.The reason why your therapy hasn’t been effective is because you both are focusing on improving your communication style without getting to the root of the conflict–what Old Scars are being played out. If you find that you are spinning your wheels in therapy and making no progress it’s because you aren’t addressing the real issue.Realize also that if you decide to call off the wedding, and you choose to go out with this other man, all your problems aren’t solved. If your mind needs to heal an Old Scar, it will find a way to bring that scar to life with your next lover, which means that you risk to find yourself locked in the same kinds of battles all over again.So know that you have been staying with and fighting with your fiance for a reason. Find out this reason (what old scar you are trying to heal), and then take direct steps to heal the wound. Unless you do, your mind will manage to recreate these same battles with your next guy.