Often, unfulfilling relationships are in some way a repeat or a symptom of family-of-origin issues. The classic example is the woman who is attracted to emotionally unavailable men and never realizes that she learned how to do that from an emotionally unavailable father.
It could be other patterns as well. Sometimes, when someone grows up in a family where one or both parents were perfectionists or were critical, for example, she finds herself drawn to people who can’t ever be pleased. Or she falls into other attractions, such as being drawn to addicts or self-centered people who are living out the ways that mom or dad did.
What is happening is that she is repeating relational patterns she learned growing up, and she is failing to connect the dots. God designed us to learn our relational patterns in our families, and we do. If it goes well, we learn healthy patterns, and if there is dysfunction, we learn that as well.
Make sure that you have done what the Bible teaches and have grown past the generational patterns that have been handed down.
Dr. Henry Cloud is a clinical psychologist and best-selling author or co-author of over eighteen books, including “How to Get a Date Worth Keeping” and “Boundaries in Dating.” He also conducts seminars across the country and co-hosts a radio program called “New Life Live.” He’s the president of Cloud-Townsend Resources.
© 2005 Betty Blake Churchill. All rights reserved. Adapted with permission from “Fantasy - An Insatiable Desire for a Satisfying Love” (Orlando, CruPress).
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