We Inherit A Relationship GPS


We Inherit A Relationship GPS
We inherit a relationship guide (metaphorical GPS) from the manner in which were parented.

The child of psychologically unhealthy parents would also participate in a similar multigenerational pattern; just one that is perpetually dysfunctional.  If one of your parents was an emotional manipulator, you would have been born to this world with expectations that if achieved, would motivate your narcissistic parent to love and nurture you.    Provided you were able to maintain your parents’ fantasy about what you should be like, you would likely receive their conditional love and conditional attention.  By maintaining your parent’s fantasies for parenthood, you would be their proud accomplishment – a trophy of sorts.  As a direct result of your ability to accommodate your parents narcissistic needs, as an adult you would develop codependency traits or would become a codependent.  As an adult you would instinctively be attracted to a lover who would unconsciously remind you of your parent – an Emotional Manipulator.
However, if you were unable to be your parents’ “trophy child,” you would consequently trigger their own feelings of shame, anger and insecurity, which they would project onto you.  A child, who is unable to make their narcissistic parent feel good about themselves, would likely to be subjected to deprivation, neglect and/or abuse.  For this child, relaxing and enjoying the wonders of childhood would never come to fruition. Your lonely, deprived, and/or abusive childhood would lay the foundation for your future poor mental health and the consequent development of one of the Emotional Manipulator Disorders.  As an adult, just like you own parents, you would automatically and instinctively be attracted to romantic partners would accept or tolerate your narcissism.



All parents, whether they are psychologically healthy or unhealthy, provide their children with experiences and memories that will ultimately result in an automatic relationship guide for their adult relationships. Children simply soak up their parent’s treatment of them.  If they are blessed, they might be the lucky recipients of a relationship GPS of sorts that will consistently guide them to the right place, right time and right person – all the time.  The not- so- fortunate child may inherit a broken relationship manual, which will likely lead them astray in their pursuit of loving, safe and happy relationships.  Although the broken guide may seem permanent, the human spirit has remarkable therapeutic potential.  Because humans are capable of healing and transforming, as well as rising above the seemingly indisputable forces of our childhood, we do not have to be the torch-bearers of our parents’ life sentence.    We are all imbued with the capability to grow and learn from our mistakes.  Many of us, with hard work, can get a chance to “overturn” what once seemed like a “life sentence” of future dysfunctional relationships.


Article contributed by

Ross Rosenberg


Ross Rosenberg, M.Ed., LCPC, CADC, CSAT
Arlington Heights, IL  60004

Author of  The Human Magnet Syndrome:  Why We Love People that Hurt Us.
Visit his YouTube Channel - 65 videos with over 1 million views
Owner and Trainer of Advanced Clinical Trainers



Location: Arlington Heights, IL
Credentials: CADC, CSAT, LCPC
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