Unrequited Love : Its Link To Childhood Trauma

unrequited_love

Do you find you have a tendency to fall in love with those who are very unlikely to reciprocate your love? Or those who are highly likely, sooner or later, to reject you? Or those with whom a relationship would be frankly all but impossible? Or entirely impossible?

Have I ever had such an experience? Well, as our American cousins might say: don’t even go there, dude!  (I learned that expression by watching Breaking Bad and now consider myself bilingual).

But seriously.

If the first paragraph is applicable to you, it could be that you are unconsciously driven to fall in love with such people due to your childhood experiences. I explain below:

Rejection And Repetition Compulsion:

unrequited_love

It has been hypothesized (originally by Freud, but also by much more recent researchers) that if we suffer a terrible trauma in childhood, such as parental rejection, we will (on an unconscious level) be compelled to put ourselves through similar experiences in adulthood (in this case, by engineering situations in which we are bound to be rejected again, either in ways described above, or by behaving in such a manner that forces the other person to reject us).

Why should we be unconsciously driven to behave in such a self-destructive and despair – inducing manner?

A leading theory (again, originating from Freud but endorsed by later researchers) is that we are unconsciously attempting to gain mastery over such trauma.

Because such re-enactment of the original rejection is unconsciously compelled, this may explain why we fall in love with the ‘wrong’ person time and time again and seem utterly incapable of learning from bitter experience.

Of course, the trauma we re-enact need not be restricted to parental rejection. Indeed, another example comes from human sexuality; it has been theorized that those traumatized by being spanked in childhood may incorporate ‘spanking behaviour’ (to coin a phrase) into their adult sexual relationships – blissfully unaware of why they’re induced to behave in this somewhat abstruse, esoteric and recondite manner.

Understanding our unconscious drives and becoming aware of how they influence our behaviour is the first step to freeing ourselves from their tyranny.

Resources:

Move On From :

move_on_from_unrequited_loveMove On From Unrequited Love : Click here for more information.

David Hosier BSc Hons; MSc; PGDE(FAHE).


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