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Becoming that which you hate

“You’re just like your mother.” If you’ve ever blessed your wife with those five words, comparing the woman of your dreams to your frumpy mother-in-law, then your relationship has probably sunk to some distant level of purgatory and needs a rescue effort. Similarly, if you as a wife find yours…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

“You’re just like your mother.”

If you’ve ever blessed your wife with those five words, comparing the woman of your dreams to your frumpy mother-in-law, then your relationship has probably sunk to some distant level of purgatory and needs a rescue effort.


Similarly, if you as a wife find yourself mentally comparing your husband to his dad, it’s time to pull your marriage over to the curb, pop the hood, and consider an overhaul.


Of course the real nightmare is to look in the mirror and see your parent staring back at you. But it happens all the time as people who know better find themselves compromising their ideals just trying to survive. A dad working to provide a decent living for his kids no longer laughs and plays with them. And then one day, feeling the pressure of work, dismayed at the person he’s becoming, he snaps and says something hurtful that his father said to him. And sometimes a mom, seeing the woeful descent of the man she loves and trying to flash a warning sign, says words she wishes she could take back.


Why do we become that which we hate? How does O.J., the Heisman award winning All American, become a creepy murderer?


I’ve thought about it and realized I don’t really understand enough about this. It’s a scary syndrome that seems to happen most to non-reflective people who get swept away by events. Maybe you’ve got a story or some thoughts that will help us.

Comments (2)

  • I think it has a lot to do with healing and forgiveness, Seth. I have experienced this with myself and others, that the non-reflective habits are really a refusal to open up the can of worms that we really are. We have a lot of hurts and wounds from ourselves and other people hurting us. If you don’t break into those things, forgive that person, forgive your self and let God heal it all up…then you’re just going to reproduce it in other people.

    I’m struggling with this right now with my boss. She’s been hurt a ton, and it’s hard to communicate with her, because everything comes from that hurt place. It’s a tough place.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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