11 thoughts on “Four Causes of Unhealthy Interpersonal Relationships

  • May 10, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Very pertinent article about the challenges and complexities in human relationships. I am a 45 year psychotherapist and psychology professor. I have a published article on Brain Blogger about these issues from a clinician’s perspective.
    These challenges and complexities are more intensified in love relationships including marriage. Persons raised in an enriched psychosocial environment early on, or even a functional one, are much better prepared. Those in sterile, dysfunctional and toxic early environments do not. We will consciously and unconsciously project these early experiences into those relationship that matter more to us. Freud calls this “repetition compulsion”.

    I agree with the author that coaching and psychotherapy can be useful in revising these patterns.

    Thanks for this article,

    • May 10, 2017 at 5:55 pm

      Hi Richard,

      I’m the author of this article—thank you for your comment. I have come to very similar conclusions and observations like those you mentioned here. I have written about it in my blog quite a few times myself. Repetition compulsion seems to be a very common phenomenon. Working on yourself by yourself or with a professional can help tremendously to overcome it.


    • May 10, 2017 at 7:38 pm

      Richard, thank you for your unput which is very helpful. I’m 67 and have no idea what a normal loving family is like or, what it’s like to be loved unconditionally. Sadly, people like me seem to end up unknowingly perpetuating (repitive compulsion disorder) or, replaying our former life from childhood. Wish I’d understood the complex dynamics of growing up with such horrible dysfunctional parents. I’m trying my best to sort through the myriad of negative feelings that I have carried around throughout my life. Worst thing is that I had no real sense of myself. Sad, isn’t it.

  • May 10, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Hello Mike, Your article is very timely and helpful for me, because I’ve been doing a lot of soul searching lately in an effort to understand the unhealthy dynamics of two marriages gone wrong and the dysfunction in my present marraige. The first thing I recognize is that I came from a seriously dysfunctional family of origin. There was alcoholism, a lot of stress, verbal abuse, physical abuse and emotional neglect growing up. At the young age of 15, my mother was so caught up in her own problems that she seemed to forget that she still had a child to raise, as a consequence I had to parent myself.

    I’ve made a note of your list to remind myself of the causes and effects of what has affected my ability to choose a compatible partner. I mean, why do I end up with abusive, controlling men was one of my main questions. The first on your list: “I’m Bad, I’m Flawed….” being learned shame and guilt, hit home with me. Would you please give me an example of how this happens to a child. My mother used to dumped bucket loads of guilt onto me, while blaming me for things I wasn’t responsible for, but of course, I didn’t recognise what was going on and ended up feeling awful and confused… and so the beat goes on.

    Thank you so much for posting a very informative and helpful article.

    • May 10, 2017 at 4:55 pm

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments, Sally. I appreciate your facing these issues – and I know it’s challenging. Also, let me point out this post was a guest post by the creator of Self-Archeology. His site is a wonderful resource – so I’d recommend contacting Darius to ask your questions about his article. I am sure he will reply. Very best to you! -Mike

      • May 10, 2017 at 7:29 pm

        Thank you for your comments Mike which is much appreciated. I’ll check out Darius too. Thank you!

    • May 10, 2017 at 6:09 pm

      Hi Sally,

      I’m the author of this article—thank you for your kind feedback, and for sharing a piece of your life story.

      Unfortunately, many of us have been raised in a highly suboptimal environment. As a result, we have inner wounds as adults. Sometimes it takes a lot of time and effort to process your past and to be able to let go of old beliefs and problematic behavioral patterns. For what it’s worth, I am glad to know that you are working on understanding your relationships better—it will undoubtedly lead to better relationships in the future.

      If you are looking for further readings, I have a few related articles on my blog:
      The Burden of Being Over-Controlled as a Child – http://blog.selfarcheology.com/2014/04/the-burden-of-being-over-controlled-as.html
      Why People Deny Childhood Trauma and Its Results – http://blog.selfarcheology.com/2013/10/why-people-deny-childhood-trauma-and.html

      All the best!

      • May 11, 2017 at 7:08 pm

        Darius, Thank you so much for your kind response to my posting. I’ve been looking at your website and read four of your articles. They are so enlightening and right on the money. I will be in touch with you soon as I do want to work through some deep and complex issues that have been for decades out of my awareness. A legacy from my parents. Thank you once again for caring.

      • May 12, 2017 at 10:02 pm

        Sally, it’s good to know you found value in my work. Yes, dealing with your upbringing and relationship with your parents is one of the biggest and most important tasks in a person’s life. Please feel free to contact me and we’ll arrange something.
        Kind regards,

  • May 19, 2017 at 2:06 pm

    Many thanks for this article! This is EXACTLY what I’m working on with my counselor now. I’m only 29, but just have had my ‘ephinany’ moment of realization of why I am in all relationships in life. I’ve also downloaded the kit. Bc I have no idea where to start or how to retrain my thinking processes. I’m looking forward to reading it. Thanks again so much!! You and your work sound amazing!

    • May 24, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      Thank you for your feedback, Shay. I’m glad to know you found some value in my work and that you are working on your self-improvement—that’s exciting! All the best in your personal journey!



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