The answer to this question often is yes or a conditional no. It is no, you can learn from love-experience if you do the necessary work to uncover the childhood defenses which keeps you trapped. Everyone has a personal clock that is not related to international time. The rate which you precede is set by the obstacles you need to overcome, most of them related to the childhood fear of returning to the scene of battle and taking an adversarial stand.
If you look around, you will find people who have broken free from the container of miserable love. To be able to stop choosing those who can’t love you or of rejecting those who can, you need to seek answers. Your conscious mind is blind to what your unconscious mind clearly sees and it is the unconscious seer which makes choices. You need to know what blinds you. Once you see, you will no longer call it a “bad habit.
It is all about motivation. Human motivation has different levels. Each one is deeper and closer to the truth. The most superficial level tells you to disregard the facts and to say I don’t know why this is happening to me. I am not responsible for it. You disregard the fact of choosing unhappy love.
Not knowing what drives you is your conscious adult state. The “seer” part of you sees quite well, knows what it sees and selects it. The “I take no responsibility” part calls it the result of bad luck no matter how often the same thing happens. There is no past in the adult’s thinking. There is only the current now. By calling it bad luck it becomes a one-time event. The adult who is corrupted by the fear of its inner child runs from the anxiety of knowing. The result of his terrified mind is reflected by the adult’s passive and confused speech. The adult gives up the quest for knowledge and feels like a failure. What kind of comfort does the inner child get from his giving up position?
This is where the search begins. You need to dig into early childhood experiences of love and more often of its lack, to remember and feel your inner emptiness and fear, to know you experienced a life in which aggression was offered instead of caresses. As an adult, choosing hatred instead of love goes back to this anti-loving era. Love misery is all that was presented and as result was all you knew. That is why the experience of love misery has so much power.
One tends to attribute a helper position to defenses you developed in childhood to survive although these are essentially neutral or even destructive. Adult motivation remains weak until you practice feeling and acting in accord, giving self-expression full allegiance.
Once you recognize there is an early self in your mind which holds the reins of love, the fight begins. This fight may seem resolved at times but you have to remain on guard. The baby self and the tyrannical parent which reside within your mind may try to take over at times when you are surrendering to weakness.
The adult has to recognize feelings, needs and fears that go back to childhood and no longer represent his true self. He needs to see how he accepted parental mistreatment or copied it as a defense against th aeir rejection. The primitive defensive thinking behind this is you won’t reject me if I resemble you which means I am you. The adult does not outgrow this. These defenses continue in adulthood unless proved inadequate or wrong and are consciously and deliberately rejected. So the adult now plays a submissive-child role with a lover who is aggressive. Seeing this and with great fear, the child-dominated adult bids this person an un-fond farewell. If the adult is hurter or a victim, the adult has to surrender both roles and learn to take a different path. It takes time to drop ancient behaviors. It requires a lot of self-witnessing and increasing detachment. You have to living the fearful emotions of the past to give it up.
The adult may feel conflict over leaving his mistreated child behind, as if the child still exists and the adult should “save him.” He has not yet accepted that past is past and cannot be changed. The inner child, a felt experience is treated as real so it has a hold on him. The conflict has to do with living in the past as if in the present.
An adult self has to decide to leave the mind’s antique store because there is nothing left to purchase. He has to get bored with visiting the museum of unhappy past events, to know he’s seen it all and wants to move on. He has to recognize he cannot fix it. No one can. He has to deal with guilt generated by many years of parental reactions against his following his own way. The adult increasingly recognizes that past is past and ever more shall be so. Those who believe it to be otherwise get on an endlessly frustrating trip to nowhere.
The adult develops confidence in his ability to be independent. Courage comes from defying the rules of the threatening inner parent and disregarding the advice of the terrified inner child, and after doing this surviving. Courage comes from doing what he is afraid of. The adult develops the sense of being an autonomous person from his ability to say no. The adult is less fearful of the internal parent but may be correctly afraid of the parent-substitute lover if that person is aggressive. The adult may need the help of a therapist or a social service to break it off and possibly to relocate. Especially if a woman, she may need to get an Order of Protection before moving out or demanding that he leave although aggressive people often are heedless of formal papers. Impulse driven, they have the urge to hit so they hit.
The adult does not want to be loved by someone who requires subservience or of being the one who demands it. The possibility of love is an arm’s reach away. We all need to grasp it.