Do You Sabotage Finding True Love?

Relationship is a complex subject and can be sabotaged on all levels.
Let’s start in the very beginning, meaning the choice of a life partner.
It is not a surprise that our parents and their marriage have a huge influence upon our choices.
You often can see that a person tends to choose a life partner that either has the same characteristics as their father, their mother, or both. Or s/he has the opposite characteristics.
Psychologists call it “Repetition Compulsion”. So, for example a woman will chose a husband who is abusive and alcoholic like her father or someone who is aloof and emotionally unavailable as her mother.

The common interpretation is that this type of relationship, following the parents’ roll model is familiar and therefore comfortable and feels safe. Another explanation is that there is an ongoing hope and need to use the spouse as a parent substitute, and to change the pattern of abuse and emotional neglect. There is an illogical presumption that if successful it would compensate or even change the past.

In my years of practice I worked with many patients who had this pattern. Women finally divorced their abusive addicting husbands only to marry another version of it. The men who seemed to be kind and nurturing showed their true face a short time after the marriage.

After the third or fourth marriage these women finally become aware that maybe they have some type of subconscious sabotage that is subconsciously choosing for them what they, intuitively know to be true: an abusive partner.  Now, being exhausted and disappointed they are ready to look at the sabotage and release it.

When I worked with Emily, her muscle tested weak for “I deserve to marry a kind man”.
It became apparent that as a child, being abused Emily assumed that she was abused because she was a bad child and she deserved to be abused.  I explained to her that this is a very common phenomenon. When you are dependent upon another person for your survival, you have to believe that this person is benevolent. This is a matter of life and death. It is especially true with children who are totally dependent upon the parents. Thus, if a child is abused or neglected they become convinced that they are not good enough and don’t deserve better.

So, Emily held the subconscious belief she did not deserve to be treated with kindness.
Once we removed this form of self sabotage Emily was finally freed from her “Repetition Compulsion” and was able to find and marry a gentle supportive and nurturing man.

Author: Dr. Daphna Slonim

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