When You Don’t Want to Turn Out Like Your Father

Many men lead very similar lives as their fathers—including behavior, belief, and abuse.

We can inherit more than just our looks, dispositions, and belief systems from our parents, we may also take on similar destructive life stories.

For this article, a generational story is a narrative that is repeated by generations within the same family. Most of the time, that recurring story is negative, unfavorable, and harmful.

In my work as a Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner, a type of energy psychology, we come across many people who live out “similar” accounts to what their parents, grandparents, or other past relatives endured.

For example, a child living through abuse probably has a parent who was abused, who had a grandparent or other relative who also lived through similar experiences. A generational abuse story can follow a family for centuries. It may not touch every single member of the family line, but enough are affected that it continues.

“I believe that the basis of most abuse is re-enactment.  Sometimes it’s pretty direct – dad was sexually molested when he was 4 years old and goes on to molest his own child when she reaches that same age.  And who molested dad?  Often the same sorts of abuse get passed down from one generation to the next. Even parents who are able to stop this cycle sometimes subconsciously select a partner who will abuse their children in the same way” says Rob Nelson, Certified Matrix Reimprinting Practitioner and founder of Tapping the Matrix Academy.

Other stories that can be passed down are relationship experiences such as having the “same” marriage situation or outcome as a parent. Other plot lines that seem to repeat through generations are poor lifestyle choices as in a family history of drinking and bad behavior. The unfulfilled dream is also common in many families, with stories passed down of regret and missed chances for reasons such as, “Not for the likes of us” and “Know your place.”

When I asked Rob, “If he found men living out similar stories as their parents or past relatives and what types of stories would those likely be?” He said and confirmed, “Many men lead very similar lives as their fathers. This can show up as abuse, but also as lifestyle issues like workaholism and other addictions, problems with intimacy, rage or depression, expectations for success or failure in the world, templates for how married life should be, and attitudes toward raising children.”

There are several ways in which our generational stories are passed down. One likely reason is through observation and conditioning from an early age. As we watch our parents navigate life, as we are impacted by their treatment of us, we learn from them—adopt similar behavior and core beliefs—the way they did from their parents.

Holding the same beliefs and behavior, it’s likely we will make the same choices in life and thus have a good chance at mimicking their story.

Another possible cause of why a generational story is passed down is through the theory of morphic resonance made popular by Rupert Sheldrake, biologist and author.

“Morphic resonance is a process whereby self-organising systems inherit a memory from previous similar systems. In its most general formulation, morphic resonance means that the so-called laws of nature are more like habits. The hypothesis of morphic resonance also leads to a radically new interpretation of memory storage in the brain and of biological inheritance. Memory need not be stored in material traces inside brains, which are more like TV receivers than video recorders, tuning into influences from the past. And biological inheritance need not all be coded in the genes, or in epigenetic modifications of the genes; much of it depends on morphic resonance from previous members of the species. Thus each individual inherits a collective memory from past members of the species, and also contributes to the collective memory, affecting other members of the species in the future.” Rupert Sheldrake, Morphic Resonance and Morphic Fields – An Introduction

Using morphic resonance theory, this “collective memory” may become the blueprint of a person’s life and if unchecked, this person may go on to repeat the same negative life scenario of their parents and past relatives.

We know generational stories exist because of the common father sentiment, “I just don’t want my son to turn out like me.”  You only need to look at your own family to see if the case is true for you. Does a part of your life mimic your parent or some other past relative in any way?

Interrupt and course correct your life story when you realize you’re repeating a negative generational story.

Your life story has a history. Whether that history goes as far back as what you learned from your parents or further – only you would know. Here is a chance to ask your parents, grandparents, and older relatives about your lineage. Learn what happened to your ancestors. See if there’s a generational story that binds some of you together.

Awareness that you’re living out a “negative generational story,” begins the interruption process. Like a reader who realizes how the book will end—before the story is fully explained—the informed reader now has a choice of closing the book because he knows how it ends or he can continue reading, and in our case, living out the generational story.

Once you interrupt your negative generational life story, you have an opportunity to course correct and create a new narrative. Some who can change and adapt with ease may begin straight away in “changing” how their life is going. For example, these types of people can quit smoking cold turkey and never do it again. They can leave abusive situations and start anew.

Others who need more of a healing process to make life changes may need a therapist that resonates with them to help understand their situation, aid them in making peace with the past, and help them move toward a brighter future.

In the case of abuse, understand that you as a child did not cause the problem. It’s not your fault and it wasn’t your job to prevent or fix it, but as an adult, you can help yourself heal the trauma through therapy.

Whatever healing modality you choose, the objective is to stop the negative generational story from influencing your life further and from being passed on to the next generation. Each time a generational story is healed—using the theory of morphic resonance—the “power” of the story, becomes less. The fewer times the story is repeated in a family, the less potent the story becomes – saving future generations from living through such an ordeal.

If you would like help in healing your negative generational story,  then I would be happy to work together. Let me help you heal your past so you can live the present and future you create for yourself.

You coach,


First published on GoodMenProject.com