Have you ever wondered why you selected the person that you did to be your significant other or spouse? Did you create the list of all of the qualities that you wanted and go after that person? Or did you decide that the person that found you or came across your path was just the right one without having to put a lot of effort into analyzing if it would work or not? Did you end up selecting someone just like your mom or dad without even intending to? I’m going to suggest there was more underneath the surface in your selection that what you think!

I often hear women say that they married someone just like their dad and men say they married someone just like their mom. Maybe you have said that many times to yourself or maybe in the midst of a lovers spat you have used that as a dig toward your spouse. You most likely didn’t go into marriage determined to select someone just like your mom or dad. But at this point of the reading you are probably realizing some similarities.

Let’s look at this selection process from a little different perspective. I believe that in our search for the right one, unconsciously we select someone that most represents the parent that we have the most unfinished business with. What!?! Yes, I believe that is the process. As if we are out to conquer some sort of unconscious battle from our past.

Take a moment to think about which parent that you have the most emotional baggage with. I believe that you are unconsciously drawn to a person who will provide you with the opportunity to heal your unresolved childhood wounds. When we are on the search for a potential spouse we go for those traits that most attract us. I’m going to suggest that it is not the person’s most appealing qualities that bring us to a decision for “the one”. It is actually his or her negative traits that attract us. I’m not talking about the negative traits like someone who never picks up after themselves or squeezes the toothpaste from the top on a full tube of toothpaste, although those could be included. I’m talking about the traits that trigger issues from your past and represent an opportunity to be able to conquer that issue.

Over our years of development through childhood and early adolescence, we create a psychological imprint of what our collective emotional experience represents. When we find someone who mirrors those traits, we are drawn to them in unconscious hopes that we will be free of what has held us back.

Now for the good news! The healthiest of marriages are made up of two people that are committed to personal growth. We have an opportunity right in our own home to be refined and strengthened to be the best individual and spouse that we can be. When we get out of the way of our selfish need to be right and start dealing with reality of where we have come from, we can start to see more of what God wants to create in our marriage instead of staying in a reaction cycle of the past.

Remember, Great Marriages Don’t Happen by Accident, you have an opportunity right in front of you to make your marriage great!