Breaking the pattern of unhealthy relationships: The Real-life story of a couple who had lost all faith in finding a true life partner after countless dysfunctional love-affairs, and finally allowed a long lasting bond into their lives using the Journey Method.
When Claire and Arnold Timmerman met for the first time 13 years ago, little did they know that it would be the beginning of their life together.
After countless unhealthy, clingy relationships in the past, they had both vowed not to settle for anything less than perfect. They both know that even after falling in love at first sight and creating a happy marriage together it isn’t all plain sailing.
“I spent many years clearing my issues around relationships. I’d always managed to manifest unhealthy ones that just weren’t quite right,” says Claire, presenter for the Journey in Spain.
“I had always needed to be in a relationship of some kind, even turning to girls when I felt I’d been with too many men or just wanted to be in a relationship in that moment,” says Claire of her relationship patterns.
Using the Journey Method to heal
Claire used the Journey Method to heal her past wounds and get to the root cause of her feelings of unworthiness and not being good enough – issues that had caused her to attract and cling to unhealthy relationships.
In 2002 Claire went through a powerful Journey process that got to the root cause of this pattern and cleared it out completely. And for the first time in her life wasn’t attracting anyone into her life. “It was like my relationship magnet – albeit an unhealthy one – had been switched off!” she says, “ I made a commitment to myself that I wouldn’t settle for anything that wasn’t the highest and best for me.”
I had always needed to be in a relationship of some kind, even turning to girls when I felt I’d been with too many men
Two years later after continuous work on her relationship issues using the Journey method and still without a relationship in her life, Claire was running logistics at an upcoming Manifest Abundance Retreat. On the list of attendee’s three names jumped out to her as potential suitors!
“Only one of the three showed up and I remember as we drove into Latimer House and I saw Arnold sitting by the pond, there was a HUGE fluttering inside my body. I did my best to run the event that weekend while being very aware of the sparks flying between us,” remembers Claire.
Restless search for true love
Similarly to Claire, Arnold’s past was filled with countless relationships that seemed to lead nowhere. “My relationship issues actually brought me to the Journey” shares Arnold. “I had been searching for my one true love yet felt like a hamster on a wheel, going round in circles and getting nowhere. From one relationship to the next, always believing that this would be the one”.
“My relationships lasted anything from 2 years to two days and I was with a lot of women during that time,” describes Arnold of his previous relationship issues.
Finally thinking he had found the one, and ready to jump in and fully commit, Arnold recalls “She dumped me, over the phone, only one week after asking me to move in with her and her 4-year old son. To this day I don’t know why she broke up with me and she has never spoken to me again”.
“It sent me reeling, into weeks of sleepless nights, tidal waves of huge emotions combined with memories of our time together and the memories of all my previous ‘failed’ relationships. I called my mum after one week and she told me that The Journey could help me and sent me the book to read. I read it immediately and called my mum again asking when is Brandon coming to Holland and she replied in two weeks!” Says Arnold remembering his first steps towards letting go of his unhealthy relationship patterns.
During his Practitioner Training Programme, Arnold recounts “I had a fling with a Swedish woman but part of me had given up believing in healthy functional relationships, and I also recognised it was driven by my unhealthy pattern in relationships so I ended it. And put out a huge prayer to the universe, literally on my knees by my bed with my hands in prayer position – it was the first time I’d prayed like that as I was not raised in any religious tradition.
And I heard myself say: “If I’m supposed to lead a life of celibacy, I’m okay with that from now on, please show me the signs. If I’m meant to be in a relationship, let it be one that is born from truth”. In that moment everything changed. “While speaking the last sentence, important women in my life passed through my mind and I knew instantly the exact qualities they represented and that I loved in them,” Arnold says. “It gave me clarity to know exactly the kind of woman I wanted to manifest in my life”.
Manifesting a life partner
For the next five months Arnold had no interest in finding a relationship, but this unexpectedly changed when he was asked to be a trainer at the Manifest Abundance Retreat and he met his wife to be Claire. “Claire arrived and my heart skipped a beat. I told myself to back off, this could not work, because she was working for The Journey, because she lived in a different country, because she travelled a lot for her job, because, because, because…. my mind was listing all the reasons why it couldn’t happen or wouldn’t work out”.
Six months earlier at Arnold’s first Abundance Retreat, where he was a participant, Claire had put out a prayer for a man to be her life partner. “When I read her Vision Quest pages from this Abundance Retreat, I was overwhelmed by how detailed her pages and pages of this man’s description was and how 99% of it described me. Only I had grey eyes not blue and she wanted (I think she wrote) a rich man,” says Arnold.
“After the retreat, I drove with Claire to Wales and in the car I opened up a conversation about the possibility of her and I and a relationship. Three months later, after quitting my job, letting go of my stunning apartment and having spent in total only three weeks with Claire, I moved to Wales and moved in with her,” Arnold says of the start of their time together as life partners.
“The following months were a fire!” adds Claire. “My “idea” of my perfect man created a push-pull for me and our individual ego-dynamics were playing full out! Luckily, both of us were committed first and foremost we to truth and clearing our own issues which, created a huge loving bond between us and became the foundation of our relationship – and remains so today,” says Claire. “We don’t hold each other to a commitment of the relationship. Instead we stay true to our wedding vows, to honour each other and allow the other to follow their own hearts calling”.
Saving my marriage with the Journey
Businesswoman and Managing Director of the Journey, Gaby Burt had very few unhealthy relationships, yet found herself on the edge of divorce.
“By my mid-30s, I was at a peak in my life, or so I thought. We had just sold our business, had money in the bank and were completely debt free – it seemed things couldn’t get much better. The Champagne flowed and everybody celebrated – while I sank into a dark depression,” she describes.
“I became so deeply disconnected from my true feelings that I couldn’t actually feel anything and my marriage was in serious danger! In my mind I knew that I loved my husband, but I could no longer feel it in my heart. It felt like something inside was dead. The spark had gone along with the intimacy, the laughter, the joy, and happiness,” says Gaby.
It was incredible how my whole life turned around, like I was given a second chance to live again.
“And it wasn’t just the marriage. As a result of my unhappiness, I felt disconnected from everything, as if the whole world had turned grey and lost all meaning. I knew others had worse problems than me, I had no serious health issues but it affected everything. I felt as if my whole life was falling apart and was clueless how to stop it,” she describes of her darkest moments.
Similarly to Claire and Arnold it was after finding the Journey that things started to get better for her. “It was incredible how my whole life turned around, like I was given a second chance to live again. Peeling back the layers of shutdown, uncovering the emotions that I had never wanted to experience before, I started to heal. And not only my health and general wellbeing improved, it literally saved my marriage,” expresses Gaby of her immense gratitude for finding Journeywork.
“I reconnected with my husband on a much deeper level than before. It’s like we fell in love with one another again and remained that way. We’ve never looked back, not even once,” confirms Gaby who has been married for 34 years now.
Healing starts from you
The relationships that we have with our loved ones are a reflection of our own inner world. So if you’re longing to improve your romantic relationships, the first step is to start with yourself.
Often we crave an all-embracing love, but mistakenly become addicts, wanting, lusting, obsessing, waiting for our next fix, from someone else, even though deep inside we know it will never be enough, never complete us.
Very often, when we focus all our attention outside ourselves and collapse into our love of another person, rather than getting the connection we yearned for, we feel separate, alone, forsaken even, and beginning looking for someone else out there to fill that emptiness inside.
Only when you are willing to let go, to realise that nobody else can fulfill you and open to a vaster non-personal love, can a true experience of love be felt.
Easier said than done! And the change starts with you. Using Journeywork you can let go of your attachment to looking for love outside yourself and allow a true, lasting, all pervading love into every area of your life.
For the first time, Brandon Bays and Kevin Billett are co-presenting a 3-day seminar on relationships, so come along yourself or with a partner, and really dive in deeply and explore what is holding you back from creating a healthy relationship full of joy and ease. You will experience how to trust yourself, open to a deeper level of love and let go of any blocks limiting your expression and enjoyment of real intimacy.
It’s time to take your relationship to another level!
3 frequently asked questions and answers about unhealthy relationships:
I’m running a pattern of abusive relationships, how do I stop this?
Ask yourself in what ways am I abusive to myself, in life, in my career, health, with my looks, my weight, with my finances, with family and friends. What is this game giving me? Our external world is a reflection of our internal world and you need to turn the flashlight inwards and really meet the ways in which you have been abusive to yourself and others and in this way stop attracting it from the outside.
When I fall in love I get clingy and almost obsessed about the person. How can I stop this unhealthy behavior that is ruining my relationships?
I’m afraid of true commitment in my life, what can I do to help myself?