"A Life Pattern is a repeating, systematic, strategic process for negotiating life stress."

John Mauldin, Ph.D


Life Stories Depicted Life Patterns

We moved many times when I was growing up. I hated it but always found a way to get along with new friends. Now, I use the same process in my relationships and hate it. Here’s the pattern. I have a relationship. Something happens. I have an opinion and feelings about it. My partner says my opinion wrong. She explains why it’s wrong. I think about it. I give in to her opinion. I doubt myself and my feelings. I try to do it my partner’s way to make her happy. I get unhappy. I put up with it and accept it for a long time. Then, I remove myself; leave the relationship; just walk away. I am alone and unhappy. I get into a new relationship. The same thing happens again.


Patterns Create Repeating Senarios


I had a fight with my husband because he was late coming home. I am upset and fearful he is having an affair. I was his secretary and we had an affair before we got married. I apologize but am still afraid. I want to be a good wife so I try to do everything he wants. He always gets his way and that makes me really mad sometimes. He should get what he wants because he is the man of the house. I am afraid to tell him how I feel or what I want because he will leave me. I always try to do the right thing to make others happy. If I give other people support, they will care for me. I am on pins and needles thinking others may quit caring about me if I am not very careful. I cannot trust what they say. I give everything in relationships but fear I won’t get anything in return.


Patterns Reduce Stress In Healthy Or Unhealthy Ways


I work in my parent’s company, keeping books and paying bills etc. Last year, my dad hired a CFO who embezzled $1,000,000. We have to declare bankruptcy or lose everything. The company is in dad’s name. He has to do the paper work. In the last few months, he left my mother and went to see an old girlfriend in Texas. Yesterday, he called from Texas. He said he was coming home. Two hours later, he called back and said the rental car would not make it. He turned back. I have deposits sitting on my desk, the creditors are trying to get their machines back, and he wants me to give him a paycheck. We do not have the money. I told him it would hurt the company he told me I never cared about him and I am selfish. He went around me and got another person to cut the check. I am crying and lost. I protect the company and my dad hates me. I protect my dad and the company fails. I can’t do this anymore, but if I quit they would have to pay more money they don’t have to get my job done. I feel like a failure to everyone. I want to go do drugs again.


Patterns Reduce Stress In Healthy Or Unhealthy Ways