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Disentangle from Parents and Ancestors
Free yourself from your parents' habits Martyn Carruthers 2002

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

Are you Entangled?

Does your family history influence you? Yes!
Does it rule you? That's up to you.

Are you repeating your family history? Are you trying to complete your parents' or ancestors' unfinished business? Here are some common symptoms:

  1. Living in the past
  2. Hereditary illnesses
  3. Never feeling "good enough"
  4. Family is not socially accepted
  5. Anger and aggressive behavior
  6. Cannot accept the present or the future
  7. Recurring emotional conditions such as depression
  8. Recurring patterns of unhappy or failed relationships

Attachments can be passed down from the generations, from ancestors that you never met or even heard about. Family patterning of issues such as suicide, incest, abuse and abortion can pass down through the generations - even if your parents did not have these issues. Another explanation is that this is genetic.

Entangled and enmeshed relationships can hurt you and the people you love. Entangled relationships with parents, grandparents aunts and uncles etc can cause chaos and suffering. Such enmeshments can diminish your ability to manage emotions and solve relationship problems.

A Few Ancestral Entanglements


You identify with a parent or other ancestor


You communicate or project as ancestor's prejudices


You depend on an ancestor who depends on you

Belief Bonds

You believe something to feel connected to an ancestor


You perceive someone as if that person were an ancestor


You feel bad because an ancestor hurt someone

Are you confused or bothered by emotional reactions or relationship habits that seem to connect you to your parents or other ancestors? We can help you free yourself from parental and ancestral entanglements.

Normal & Healthy Relationships

Many people come to us who want to have normal relationships. But normal relationships may be unhealthy. It is normal for some mothers to over-love their eldest or only sons. It is normal for some fathers to devote themselves to their youngest or only daughters. It is normal for some grandparents to become substitute parents to their grandchildren.

Do you sometimes pretend to be a lost child? Do you sometimes try to parent other adults? Do you sometimes play victimizer, victim or rescuer roles? These role-playing games can be intense ... and they have high stakes. You bet your life.

Many families, organizations and cults enmesh people to control their behavior. There may be rules, but often the key rules are secret. Sometimes you can only lose.

Common Signs of Entanglements

Excuses Blaming Complaining Criticizing
Threatening Coercing Begging Gossiping
Don't say what you mean Don't take yourself seriously Claim everything is your fault Never say "No"
Don't mean what you say Tell people not to take you seriously Claim nothing is your fault Never say "Yes"
Don't know what you mean Take yourself too seriously Avoid talking about yourself Lie, protect and cover up for people
Apologize for being alive Are never sure what is being discussed Talk too much Talk in self-critical, or hostile ways
Only say what provokes people Only express opinions when people will agree Claim to sacrifice your happiness for others Cannot express emotions appropriately
Compulsive spending Believe lies Tell lies Become workaholic

Many people are manipulated - and may manipulate others by - sexual entanglements. The most common may be in sales - pretty young women can sell just about anything. Also common are people who provide sexual pleasure - often without receiving pleasure themselves - in return for some benefit.

Partnership & Sexual Entanglements

  • Do you initiate sex when you feel bad?
  • Can you ask for what you want in bed?
  • Do you withdraw from your sex partner?
  • Are you disgusted by your sex partner?
  • Do you have sex when you don't want to?
  • Has sex become robotic?
  • Do you tell lies to avoid sex?
  • Have you lost interest in sex?
  • Do you consider sexual affairs?
  • Do you hope a partner will die?

Sexual Abuse . Sexual Solutions . Sexual Issues . Sexual Affairs

Long-Term Entanglements

Many codependent entanglements and dysfunctional disorders get worse over time, moving through symbiosis towards codependence and disconnection. You may become addicted to your own emotions - or addicted to hiding your emotions. What are the consequences of entanglements?

Common Consequences of Codependence

  • feel lethargic, bored or low energy
  • feel dejected and depressed
  • feel hopeless, helpless & worthless
  • feel withdrawn and isolated
  • abuse or neglect your children
  • avoid your responsibilities
  • consider self-harm or suicide
  • become aggressive and violent
  • psychosomatic disease
  • eating and sleeping disorders
  • addictions to substances
  • autoimmune disease symptoms

Your emotions can indicate your level of codependence:

Anger / Rage Fear / Anxiety Sadness / Melancholy
  • Are you afraid of your own anger?
  • Are you frightened of other people's anger?
  • Do you hide or swallow angry feelings?
  • Are you afraid of authorities?
  • Are you afraid of being abandoned?
  • Are you afraid of consequences?
  • Do you proclaim your sadness?
  • Do you punish people who make you sad?
  • Do you feel guilty for feeling sad?

Human entanglements often include avoiding or overloading responsibility. Entangled adults often appear immature and childish, or may be overly protective (control freaks) towards other adults. Protection can be a small step from control.

Entanglements & Responsibility

  • Do you give unwanted advice?
  • Must you help people with problems?
  • Do you obsess about people's needs?
  • Do you try to please other people (but not yourself)?
  • Do you feel victimized?
  • Are you overly responsible?
  • Are you overly irresponsible?
  • Do you only attract needy people?
  • Are you attracted to needy people?

Do you prefer to change - or to suffer? Contact us to manage negative emotions, end self-sabotage and solve relationship problems.

Online Help: Coaching, Counseling & Therapy

I thought you were just another therapist - but you were not just. Not even. Not only.

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 2002-2018
All rights reserved.

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Have You Suffered Enough?

 Where are you now? Understand your emotions, fixations and enmeshments
What do you hope for? Know your goals and stop sabotaging yourself
Do you feel resourceful? Learn to develop your inner resources
Do emotions block you? Relationship problems and mentor damage
Do your beliefs limit you? Change limiting beliefs and end dependence
Do you feel connected? Resolve identity issues to recover lost resources
Is your partner happy? Build healthy partnership (or separate peacefully)
Are your children healthy? Happy parents better manage family problems
Do you want team success? Team leaders and their teams develop together
Do you have complex goals? Specialty coaching, counseling & therapy

Plagiarism is theft. Copyright Martyn Carruthers 1996-2018  All rights reserved. Soulwork Systemic Coaching was primarily developed by Martyn Carruthers to help people solve emotional problems and relationship conflicts to achieve their goals. These concepts and strategies are for general knowledge only. Consult a physician about medical conditions and before changing medical treatment. Don't steal intellectual property ... get permission to post, publish or teach Martyn's work - email