Have you ever been in a new relationship that seems eerily familiar? You might have married your abusive father, your nagging ex-wife or someone else from your past. It happens. Why would you be with someone who displays the worst traits of someone you have discarded from your life?
There is a concept called “recapitulation”. Recapitulation means “to repeat in concise form”. In relationship it refers to how we create situations in our life to deal with unresolved emotional pain.
At first glance it seems crazy that I would want to marry someone who hurts and abuses me. If that was my role model growing up or someone significant in my life treated me in this way, I may unconsciously seek out that kind of treatment because I believe that is how it “should be”. At some level, mostly unconscious, we believe that is how we deserve to be treated.
There are many types of recapitulation and some are healthier than others. For example, one form involves healing emotional wounds by becoming a social activist and campaigning against “bullies” or abusive individuals.
It is important to heal these old wounds as they will influence your choices and your responses in future relationships. If you are recapitulating your old wounds, no matter how “productive” you are, you are still trapped by the pain of these wounds.
Recapitulation is an important component of our Wellness Program.