It is important to look back over your significant relationships, if you’ve had any before your current one. There are usually patterns that emerge both about who you pick and how you show up in relationships. Apply some focused thought to these questions:
- What have your partners been like?
- What drew you to them?
- What kinds of things happened in those relationships? How did they end?
- How did you feel over the course of those relationships—in the beginning, in the middle, in the end?
- How did they treat you? How did you treat them?
- How was the sex? What happened in your sex life with other partners over time?
- Do you see some patterns? What information emerges that might shed light on your current dynamics with your partner?
Working in therapy, I cover family, relationship, and sexual history with everyone, because everyone has a story that shapes who they are in relationships. Through your exploration of all this personal history, you have learned a lot about who packed your baggage and what’s in it. You’ve learned what’s influenced you in how you handle love, sex, power, conflict, and more. You probably have some clear ideas about what your patterns are and how they impact your relationship now.