Why Do Women Marry Their Fathers?

Have you ever been to a high school reunion and been introduced to a spouse or significant other of a friend you were really close to in high school, and thought to yourself, “Wow! He reminds me a lot of Sally’s Dad?” Well, there is a very good reason for that. Why Do Women Marry Their Fathers?So why exactly do women marry their fathers? The same reason men marry their mothers, of course!  The answer is actually not all that cut and dry. Harville Hendrix, author of, Getting the Love You Want, has a great theory for why we are drawn to partners who remind us of our caretakers:

Our unconscious need is to have our feelings of aliveness and wholeness restored by someone who reminds us of our caretakers. In other words, we look for someone with the same deficits of care and attention that hurt us in the first place.

So when we fall in love, when bells ring and the world seems altogether a better place, our old brain is telling us that we’ve found someone with whom we can finally get our needs met. Unfortunately, since we don’t understand what’s going on, we’re shocked when the awful truth of our beloved surfaces, and our first impulse is to run screaming in the opposite direction.

(from Imago website)

It makes total sense, right!?! Our parents were in no way perfect. How could they be? They were a mix of good and bad traits, and that mix had a huge effect on who we are and how we feel about ourselves. Our subconscious wants to re-enact those relationships, but this time it wants to be healed. So we expect utter perfection in our mates, but they are imperfect too and struggling to heal themselves. That’s when their imperfections start to push our buttons.  This can cause us to want to run the other way. But there are better solutions!

We can become self-aware and conscious of these patterns and transform our relationships.  Last week we started a relationship discussion group. It where we talk about different issues as they relate to articles or books that we read together as a group.  For the month of March we will be discussing topics from the book, Getting the Love You Want.

  • Fuser vs. Isolator-This concept applies to relationships of all types, not just romantic ones.
  • Lost Self, False Self, Disowned Self.

What does your ideal relationship look like? What type of self defeating behaviors are you using that keep you from having that ideal relationship?

If you missed the discussion last week and would like to come tomorrow, Tuesday at 11:30am-12:30 pm, feel free to read this short article:  How to Break Negative Relationship Patterns.


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