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Are you married to somebody exactly like your father/mother?

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  • Are you married to somebody exactly like your father/mother?

    When I was dating, I did not want to be with anybody similar to my father. I did not get along with him very well. But after being with my husband for 15 years, I have realized I married somebody exactly like my father, and I'm not talking about the good qualities. How does that happen?
    Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

  • I think my mother is one of the greatest people in the world, so I've always been cool with the fact that I'm attracted to women like her. My family has commented on a some kind of similarity between my wife and my mother that they can't put their finger on. It's pretty clear to me - the way they smile, their concern for people, their spirituality. On the down side they both have issues with time. So do I.

    I think it's just something in us we can't fight. They say opposites attract. There may be some truth in that. The exotic and unique intrigues us. We're attracted to qualities in others that we lack in ourselves. But the familiar has a powerful draw of it's own.
    "Those sowing seed with tears
    Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

    Comment


    • Dream-Have you heard of love maps? It's an unconscious thing in our brain where we get turned on by people like our parents. But, we don't realize it right away. We think that the person is different, but they're really not.

      I also read that we are turned on by people that emulate the same feelings that we have. If we're angry or sad, we're energetically attracted to other sad/angry people. If we're feeling happy, we are already repulsed by someone that is giving off a dark energy.
      "Dating is like slow dancing. Let the man lead, or you will fall all over your feet"

      Comment


      • Sometimes we choose a partner like our parent in order to work out the problem we never could resolve with our parent.

        For example, the daughter who came to believe she was unloveable because she was ignored and rejected by her philandering father will choose a distant and unfaithful partner unconsciously believing that if she can make him love her (become warm and faithful), then she can prove (to herself) that is actually lovable (and dad was wrong).

        So what are the similarities between your husband and father?

        Comment


        • Originally posted by Pollon View Post
          Sometimes we choose a partner like our parent in order to work out the problem we never could resolve with our parent.

          For example, the daughter who came to believe she was unloveable because she was ignored and rejected by her philandering father will choose a distant and unfaithful partner unconsciously believing that if she can make him love her (become warm and faithful), then she can prove (to herself) that is actually lovable (and dad was wrong).
          This is similar to the Imago theory developed by Harville Hendrix (I read his books in marital therapy). His theory was not confined to parents -- but any significant relationship in childhood. But the point is the same; we try to resolve the problems with our love relationship. Hendrix believed that this was all subconscious and that, to make the marriage work, the partners needed to understand this and try to work out the issues.
          "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

          Comment


          • They are both workaholics who are so focused on their work that they can't take 5 minutes out of their day to call home and say goodnight to the kids or just call to say I don't need dinner. They are both what you would consider good men, a catch that most women would want, on the surface. However, behind closed door, they are anytime from the ideal partner. They are very selfish and provide love on their terms. My mother told me stories about all the romantic stuff my father did when they were dating. So did my husband. I'm lucky if he does anything romantic once every few years now.

            I also feel like I am my mother, always the one making sacrifices and adapting to my husband's needs whereas he doesn't values anything I do, even when I am making more money than him. At one point, even my mother was making more money than my father, but she ended up quitting her job when they had to move for his job.

            I didn't want to marry anybody like my father and my husband was nothing like him when we met and got married. But after 10 years, I feel like I am living with my father!
            Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

            Comment


            • Originally posted by DreamP346 View Post
              I also feel like I am my mother, always the one making sacrifices and adapting to my husband's needs whereas he doesn't values anything I do, even when I am making more money than him. At one point, even my mother was making more money than my father, but she ended up quitting her job when they had to move for his job.

              I didn't want to marry anybody like my father and my husband was nothing like him when we met and got married. But after 10 years, I feel like I am living with my father!
              If you want it to be different, you are probably going to have to stop being your mother. That might mean rocking the apple cart and stop enabling his behavior.

              That will likely mean making EVERYONE uncomfortable and putting some fear in him.

              Men like to feel competent so they pour themselves into work because that is the place they experience that feeling. In other words, they don't ignore the family out of selfishness but rather out of a fear of failure.

              What have you tried so far?

              Comment


              • Originally posted by Pollon View Post
                That will likely mean making EVERYONE uncomfortable and putting some fear in him.
                Have you had long term success in a relationship using fear to get people to change?
                "Those sowing seed with tears
                Will reap with a joyful shout." - Psalm 126

                Comment


                • Before meeting/choosing my husband I was dating guys who were not so much like my father, BUT who made it convenient for me to act like my mother (who as most of you know suffers from a possible Cluster B personality disorder amongst properly-diagnosed anxiety disorders.) They "inflamed my crazy."

                  I read a book called Actually It Is Your Parents Fault (twice!) It talks a lot about choosing a partner based on what you need due to your childhood, and how people with the same type of parental conflict can come out needing different things from an adult relationship. Doesn't help much if you're not at the "choosing" stage, but it may help you recognize what you really need versus what you are attracted to and unconsciously think you want.
                  <center><i>Nature gives us shapeless shapes,<br>Clouds and waves and flame,<br>But human expectation is that love remains the same,<br>And when it doesn’t, we point our fingers and blame.</i><br><a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/register.php">Register</a>|<a href="http://www.womens-health.com/boards/members/little.html">Contact Admin</a>|<a href="mailto:support*womens-health.com?subject=Forum Contact">Email Admin</a></center>

                  Comment


                  • Originally posted by Stillness View Post
                    Have you had long term success in a relationship using fear to get people to change?
                    I'm referring to the fear of losing the relationship or marriage.

                    In other words, making the open or implied statement, "If this (thing you do) doesn't change, our relationship will end."

                    Using fear would be a last resort after other good faith efforts, like communication, compromise, counseling, etc., have been exhausted.

                    In the case of Dream, it sounds like she considers him to have left the relationship already, he just doesn't know it yet. All of her accommodating tells him to feel secure and comfortable, ie. lacking in fear. Assuming she has already tried communicating, compromising, and counseling, she might consider behaving in a way that more clearly reflects her feelings regarding the status of the relationship.

                    To answer the question. Fortunately, I have not had to use fear as a motivator.

                    Comment


                    • Well that's always a guys dream to marry someone like his mother and women married someone like there father. This happen more then we know my wife is so much like my mother a face of a angle mouth of a sailor and attitude to go with it all. That's what attracted me to her from the start it's all been good for all these years lol.
                      When out driving always turn left. Then, should you become lost, you can find your way home by reversing the procedure and always turning right.

                      Comment


                      • I find certain traits in my husband that are also present in my father. But I haven't really thought about if I consciously or subconsciously married someone like my father... I think, because I love my dad, that I probably found someone with similar traits because that's what I wanted in a partner.


                        They share a lot of the same good traits, but their not-so-good traits are different.

                        Dream - it's evident by your second post that you're not satisfied with the level of interest your husband has in you/your marriage. Have you talked to him about that? Just because you married someone who has fallen into a similar behavioral pattern as your father, doesn't mean your doomed to have your parents' marriage. You two can turn it around, if you're both willing to. And the first step is communicating how you feel with your husband.

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by DreamP346 View Post
                          I didn't want to marry anybody like my father and my husband was nothing like him when we met and got married. But after 10 years, I feel like I am living with my father!
                          It sounds like he was exactly like your father only you didn't have enough information to know about your Dad's courtship behavior. It is so difficult to evaluate people in the courtship phase of a relationship -- we tend to become who we always wanted to be. Once things settle, we become who we are. I think Little also raises an excellent point -- our partners behaviors also affect our own. Pollon's implied question (why do you put up with his behaviors) is an interesting one because, on this forum, you are one (if not the most) intelligent, perceptive and assertive women.

                          Originally posted by Pollon View Post
                          If you want it to be different, you are probably going to have to stop being your mother. That might mean rocking the apple cart and stop enabling his behavior.

                          That will likely mean making EVERYONE uncomfortable and putting some fear in him.
                          Much like courtship, change of behavior based upon fear is usually not sustainable. At least that was my conclusion. For me, after 8 years of marriage (which included 4 years of marital therapy) I announced -- in therapy, of course, that I was done. The first words out of her mouth was "You know, I can work on [insert name of issue]" Really? I never truly believed that change was possible and that we would settle back to the patterns I could no longer deal with.
                          "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

                          Comment


                          • Originally posted by effy2014 View Post
                            Pollon's implied question (why do you put up with his behaviors) is an interesting one because, on this forum, you are one (if not the most) intelligent, perceptive and assertive women.
                            Single answer: children.

                            Maybe it's a bit of karma coming back to bite me. I used to treat men terribly. I mean, I didn't do it intentionally, but I did step on other people's emotions. Used to drop men without a second thought. Never been dumped. Never had my heart broken. I guess it's time for my own medicine
                            Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose - Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster (sung by Janis Joplin)

                            Comment


                            • Well, Dream... you didn't have anything worth caring about so much before. Now you do, and it's difficult to deal with, because hey, when the going got tough before, you just got going! Now you've got someone you'd rather stick with than run from, and that's scary and confusing and difficult to navigate.

                              So the question is... you've identified some behaviors you don't appreciate in your spouse. You're feeling overlooked. Now what? Let's not call this Karma rearing its head, as that seems a bit defeated. Karma you have no control over. This problem? You have influence over this one.

                              Comment

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