How do some of us end up in a series of the similar relationship with the same outcome and dynamic?
Why do they all remind us of, and why do they feel like our relationship with one of our parents?
Patterns of our behavior in each is astonishingly similar and the outcome is failure supported by feelings of inadequacy, fear, disappointment and loneliness.
The answer can be found in a concept called repetitive compulsion – neurotic defense mechanism in which a person repeats a traumatic event or its circumstances over and over again. The person attempts to rewrite childhood history in a way, typically the troubled relationship with the parent.
Child in a parental relationship with elements of rejection, narcissism, neglect, believes problem is in him and is making all possible adjustments to deserve, what should be there in the first place, unconditional parental love.
The child believes that problem is in him and that somehow, if he can change himself, if he can adjust himself to the situation, ignore his feelings and needs, he can change the relationship.
The child clings to the relationship and, as an adult, to the relationship patterns to avoid confrontation with feelings accompanying situation and accepting the relationship for what it is.
Repetition compulsion is a way of coping with a situation and individual protection in a form of reinforcing possibilities and opportunities to change the outcome.
As an adult, that person is likely to engage in a relationships with the person that resembles the parent and is trying to repeat the situation hoping that this time the outcome will be different.
It all plays out in a subconscious level and the adult usually has no idea that he is making the same choices or that he is repeating the same behaviors all over again.
For example, child of narcissistic and self-centered mother, can, as an adult, end up in a series of friendship relationships where can acts as a pleaser trying hard not to upset the other person, or a child of an abusive father may find himself ending up in a pattern of abusive love relationship.
Initially protective, this mechanism can be a source of a great healing power once adult is able to perceive, accept and explore behavioral patterns that once helped him to survive.