A few weeks ago I watched Annie Hall, the Woody Allen movie starring Diane Keaton and Woody Allen. I hadn't seen it in over 30 years and probably laughed harder and appreciated it more this time around.
The movie essentially is a study in Alvy Singer's (played by Woody Allen) rejection of the women in his life because he can't possibly fathom why they would want to be with him let alone love him.
He even likens it to the old Groucho Marx joke, " I don't care to belong to any club that will have me as a member."
In the film, we watch as Alvy systematically sabotages his relationships only to then regret it after they're over.
But then something weird happened. I actually started to see this same pattern playing out with people I knew in my everyday life. Twice I witnessed one partner goading the other, speaking harshly almost like the desire was to reject, push away, or create cause for a break up.