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Xpress411's avatar

Why do some girls marry guys just like their fathers?

Asked by Xpress411 (117 points ) December 27th, 2007

This can probably be extended to guys as well, but it’s usually because he’s looking to be “mothered” in a relationship. Girls at least the one I’m thinking of, didn’t marry a protector, she married a pot smoking mess up just like her father.

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10 Answers

Zaku's avatar

When children fail to handle a major problem, it ends up becoming a fascinating problem that they see throughout their lives until they figure it out. It’s how people start to build the their understanding of the world, on a foundation they are afraid to look too closely at, but will be fascinated to skirt around later.

gailcalled's avatar

Freud called it the repetition compulsion, a label that covers a lot of complicated psychoanalytical issues. In a nutshell, if a daughter grows up w. a problematical relationship w. her father, she is apt to marry a similar man in order to “get it right’ or “fix it” the second time around. That usually doesn’t work, either.

gcross's avatar

Children who are abused by close relatives often believe that this is normal family behavior and they are somehow at fault. Likewise, we tend to partner with individuals who are either like our parents (if we admire our parents) or the opposite of them (if we don’t). Much has to do with our own self-worth and self-esteem. There is also the victim complex. People with low self-esteem /self-worth tend to gravitate towards partners who will reinforce those beliefs or continue the abuse they grew up with. Some of this can be attributed to a lack of a religious or spiritual belief system. But this is not always a solution, for there are just as many Believers with abusive or trashy partners as there are in the general population.

If this question is a lead in to trying to figure out how to help this girl, all I can suggest is that you be her friend. Treat her as if she were an alcoholic, perhaps. Don’t support her habit. In other words, don’t let her leach off of you. Be reasonable but firm. She will eventually chase off all her friends, either because they get tired of hearing her excuses for her partner’s failings or because they get tired of her coming to visit with them only with the expectation of a handout. It’s a tough job to maintain a relationship with someone like her, but if care about her…

Well, that’s up to you. Like I said, it won’t be easy. It may never be possible to turn this girl around.

I had a friend once who had been seriously abused by her spouse. His last abuse of her was so brutal, she flew home to her parents still bleeding. Her hatred of him ran very, very deep. She was actually raising her son (his get), to grow up to kill his father when he reached his majority. She encouraged bullying behavior on his part and never chastised him, no matter how many times the school called her to complain. She also surrounded herself with bouncers, portrayed herself as a delicate “lady”, a damsel in distress, and reacted to any slight with excessive force. In a disagreement over a car deal, she visited the other party carrying a baseball bat and in the company of several large bouncers.

I, too, have been abused by a former spouse. I have been raped, twice, and had a loaded, cocked pistol held to my forehead. But I remain a compassionate and understanding person, well-balanced, and with a healthy marital relationship the second time around. She, on the other hand, never got past her abuse and while she came across as sweet and reasonable, her excessive response to adversities never diminished.

How did I overcome my experiences but she didn’t? I attribute it our religious beliefs. Or, more accurately, my beliefs in God and her lack of beliefs. My confidence in my self-worth and her lack of such. Her son is in his mid 20s now. I would not be at all surprised to find out he was in prison. Or, more likely, she helped him do the deed and get away with it and they are both living the high life south of the border.

Don’t get me wrong, I have no sympathy for the abusive husband. He deserves a taste of his own medicine. But her hatred isn’t reserved solely for him. Neither is her son’s strong-arming behavior. If the husband were the only recipient, then I’d say let them hash it out between them and I’d stay out of it. But it isn’t. Other people are victimized in turn by all three of these people.

So anyway, good luck. I hope you don’t get too badly burned in this relationship. Maybe its salvageable. Maybe not. Only time will tell.

gooch's avatar

because being raised around a certain behavior makes you feel like that is “normal” so you overlook it are almost feel a need to be around it to feel normal or “safe”. Most people resist change.

gcross's avatar

*Gooch: also correct:)

Poser's avatar

The devil you know…

Allie's avatar

… is better than the devil you don’t.”

My great-grandma used to tell me this ALL the time.

kksw's avatar

Well I don’t know about everyone else but I was brought up by my pops, and his ways (often outspoken have really rubbed off on me) and his opinion really means a lot to me- if he wasn’t keen on a man i was with, I would definitely have to have a think about it!

Also fathers are usually the first men us daughters ever love

dindinbaby's avatar

In some cases girls do grow up with great fathers. So, if he was a great father to her and a good husband, a man just like him would likely be a great husband and father to her children. Plus, great fathers are around their children a goodly portion of the time. So it would also follow that their father’s personality and demenor would be the type that the girl is comfortable with.

jballou's avatar

it’s the same as when guys marry women just like their mothers. Marriage is not just about love and being together. You also have to depend on each other and take care of each other. Who would you rather have take care of you then someone you are comfortable and familiar with?

I think that most people base what they think of the opposite sex at an early age off of the person of that sex most accessible to them which would be the father for girls and the mother for boys. So in essence your idea of what a man or a woman is “supposed” to be is based off the man and/or woman you spent your formative years with.

Right?

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