Unconscious Parent and
Child Repetition Compulsions
Many people blame failure, lost jobs, lost opportunities, and arguments on bad luck, bad timing, bad people, fate, destiny, and sometimes even on themselves (i.e., bad judgment). However, in many cases there is a repetitive familiarity to it all. There seems to be a recurrence of situations in which we lose control over our emotions, make people angry at us, become upset only to regret it later, or destroy some promising situation or relationship.
If we were to examine the circumstances surrounding these occurrences, including our feelings and the events that seemed to provoke them, it sometimes becomes clear that a pattern has been in motion for a number of years. The same bad things seem to happen again and again.
I have had patients confide that this is the third marriage or relationship in which the husband or boyfriend has turned out to be physically and emotionally abusive, the fourth marriage to a man who is an alcoholic or had a drug addiction, the third marriage to or