Looking Honestly at the Special Relationship

Pick a particularly significant person in your life, ideally one with whom you’ve had a fair amount of friction and/or frustration.

  1. What role, in your mind, was this person supposed to play? What function was he or she meant to fulfill?
  2. If this person fulfilled that function, would that make you feel really special?
  3. How special did you end up feeling (or have you felt so far)?
  4. How well did this person fulfill the function you allotted him or her?
  5. Is any resentment or ill feeling you harbor toward this person related to the failure to fulfill his or her assigned function?
  6. Can you think of any previous person in your life who was supposed to fulfill a similar function and similarly failed?
  7. If so, is it possible that you were seeing the current person as a symbol for this past person, and, through the current one, trying to symbolically gain from the past one what you didn’t get before?
  8. Trying to prove to the past person how wrong they were and (symbolically) extract from them what they wouldn’t give you—doesn’t that amount to a quest for vengeance?
  9. Is it possible that the drive for vengeance on the past person was a large part of the unconscious motivation behind your participation in the relationship?
  10. Does it seem logical that you can either seek vengeance or love, but not both?