Should You Dig into Your Family of Origin Issues to Understand Your Choices in Love (part One)?

If you haven't already done some digging, consider it -- whether your childhoodwas a happy one or not.

Years ago I did some major “excavating” of my own littlefamily of origin issues. Digging through various familial feelings andassociations, I confirmed a nagging suspicion: a less-than-rosy relationshipwith my dad was contributing in a serious way to some of my dumbest choiceswith men.

Still, those dumb choices were mine,and mine alone. Not that some men in my life haven't been fullyresponsible for the bad things they've done to me and to other women!It's just that I don’tblame my dad -- or any man -- for the mistakes I’ve made in love.

Unfortunately,I’ve found that when women dig enthusiastically into family of originissues, sometimes they use what they discover to burythemselves in self-destructive love life patterns.

Like…

…the woman who told me that she was “doomed” to be needy inlove -- and pick emotionally unavailable men -- because her mom had been soemotionally unavailable for her.

…the woman who tried to convince me that she “couldn’t help”how she mistreated and manipulated men because her dad’s abuse had ruined any futureshe might have with a man.

…the woman who believedthat she had to keep looking for the elusive Mr. Right who would adore her evenwhen she acted “bratty” and “spoiled” because she had always been Daddy’sLittle Princess, and she should be able to do what she wanted.

…or the woman who argued that since her mom had always beena “loser magnet,” it was pointless to resist being what she was “meant to be”-- a loser magnet too.

So, you can imagine that I get a little nervous when women ask me if they should dig into theirfamily of origin issues in order to get a handle on their relationships withmen! Obviously, I don’t want any woman unearthing some family of origin “insight”that will make her feel doomed in love -- or give her an excuse for misbehaving in relationships.

But…….knowledgeabout yourself can be a beautiful thing, depending on how you use it.

That’s why I encourage you to consider a variety of factors -- including family of origin --that contribute not only to your choices in love, but also to your expectations of and reactions to men in general.

And it’s not just about your relationship with your mom ordad, although that’s in the mix. Women absorb all sorts of helpful and not-so-helpful “messages” aboutmen and relationships in their families. I certainly did.

When I post part two of this topic, we'll discuss some of those messages.

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Meanwhile, if you haven’t considered a possibleconnection between your family of origin and your choices in love(especially the hurtful ones...), Iencourage you to start being curious.

Just don’t dig so deeply in the past that you can’t be smartand realistic about what you need to do in the present!

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