I logged on to this forum thinking about posting my own question, but after reading your post, thought I would respond here first, since I'm going through some back and forth stuff w/my boyfriend that is about different issues, but similar in the sense that we keep repeating patterns. Well, I do, anyway, and I think I'm coming to some sort of awakening about how to change that, it might apply to your situation also.
I think I had a breakthrough recently. I had a big emotional blow-out yesterday where a lot of old pain and fear just kind of came up and out. I don't even think it was about the conflict at hand, though that was the trigger. It was more generalized anxiety, like an almost physical knot of it that had been with me as long as I can remember. It started yesterday over my insecurity that his second very casual marriage proposal a few days ago, in the course of our 9 year relationship, was as insincere as the first one a few years ago (he was not ready at the time, but felt obligated to take things to the next level, I think). We hardly ever fight (though there is often tension beneath the surface when grievances are unspoken), and I didn't want to tell him what was on my mind because I knew I was hormonal and it was probably my own stuff, but he coaxed it out of me and didn't provide me a safe place for me to express it, so dealing with his disgust and judgment once he knew what was going around in my head was shockingly painful. Still, his feelings were justified, and all the ugly stuff he pointed out about my tendency to sabatoge everything with irrational fear and over-thinking was pretty right on the money. He says he's very sensitive to all the "junk in my field," and that we'd have a more harmonious relationship if I could lighten up and not over-think everything, stop putting him under a microscope and start focusing on myself, what I need to do to let go of all the stuff that's not me, that's my real work, and what I should have been doing all this time. It is really, really hard for me to say that he's right. He does feed into a lot of my stuff with some of his behaviors, but when I can step WAY out of it and look at the situation from a more... cosmic perspective, I think he unconsciously baits me and brings this stuff up because it's exactly what I need to learn to overcome. Like we chose each other for a reason, or fate brought us together to work out our stuff because the other person is a perfect catalyst.
I think my issues about not feeling worthy or not feeling loved or supported by the universe are pretty common, and it makes it hard to connect at a heart level with people. He's broken my trust a few times, and since he's a naturally secretive scorpio and keeps to himself about most things, I find myself still not trusting, kind of like once I've been burned, I never forget and keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. Even though he has a million great qualities, I understand why he has lied or hidden things in the past, and that a lot has changed for the better, I hang on to the expection that he will be dishonest again or somehow is not who he projects himself to be. He works pretty actively on his own issues, meditates every day, and has a strong spiritual practice. I tend to get mired down in the day to day responsibilies, go into survival mode because I have a work load that is difficult to juggle and long term issues with chronic physical pain, and so keep putting off the spiritual work into the indefinite future. After the small catharsis I had yesterday, I finally realized I can't be casual about my approach to this anymore, it's not going to just fall away on its own, there is some hard stuff I have to look at, and I have to make it a daily priority to connect with my higher self and recognize that all my "stuff" isn't me, it's just my programming. And I mean ALL of it, though it will take me awhile to get THERE. Have you ever seen any of Eckhart Tolle's lectures on video, or read his book The Power of Now? He said something on one of the tapes that was a real lighbulb moment for me (you'd think I would have carried that forward) where he encouaged the viewer to try to imagine you don't have a name. Like who and what are you without your adopted "identity?" I think we are just light and love under all that we have been taught through this life and past lives, and finding our way back to that is why we are here. My BF mentioned that a lot our notions & attachments & unhealthy patterns sort of bury into the physical body and take on a life of their own, in a way, they try to survive even though at some level you know it's not who you are. I think it's the reason we find ourselves repeating the same unhealthy patterns over and over, and breaking that cycle is the key, though I think you have to find a way to drop that thing that "isn't you" on a really deep level, rather than just behave your way out of it, you know?
It sounds like you have different issues on the surface, but I think most relationsip problems, particularly between 2 people that really do love each other, comes down to one or both partners not having a strong spiritual center, not working actively on letting go of their own attachments and notions of "who" they are, and relating to each other through ego and what the ego needs to survive, rather than at a heart level, without judgment and selfishness. It was REALLY hard to have my boyfriend hold that mirror up to my face yesterday, I did not like being confronted with my stuff and swallowing that bitter pill, but it became really obvious that I'll never have harmony with him and be able to connect on the deep level that I want to with him if I don't let go of this intense need to protect myself by trying to manipulate every situation into what I think it should be so I'll feel safe, rather than stepping back and seeing what I'm supposed to learn from it when it's not what I want, or what I think I want.
What's interesting is that in spite of all my worry, things always turn out for the best, one way or another. I thought I could jump straight to releasing my "issues" and being more awake and enlighted without working hard at it, and without wading through and understanding the reasons I repeat the same mistakes. You know......when I got around to it. But I think I have walk down that icky path of self-realization, first, before I can really let go of the wrong notions that have been strangling me and screwing up my relationships as long as I can remember. Thank God I'm with a guy who is patient and can deal with that. Good luck on your journey. I hope I haven't been too self-indulgent and that there is something in here you can relate to. I didn't want to pontificate about working on personal growth to improve a relationship without being honest and admitting how my own shortcomings led me to some of those realizations.