The concept of the Imago is described in the book, How to Get the Love Love You Want, by Harville Hendrix or for singles, Keeping the Love You Find.
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Love Addicts project their Imago on to people they are attracted to. If they have an unhealthy Imago this is the beginning of a toxic relationship.
Each of us must discover if our Imago is negative. My Imago was based on my dad who was unavailable and an alcoholic, thus negative.
List everything that ever attracted you to someone and you will get an idea of what your Imago is. Compare this to people you knew as a child, movie characters, romantic novel heroes, and your parents. Most Imagos are composites.
In recovery we give up our negative Imagos and find someone to love that will enhance our lives.
Last Edit: Oct 29, 2017 9:02:29 GMT -8 by Susan P.
Post by hardlyquinn on Nov 30, 2012 11:43:20 GMT -8
Aha, thanks Susan & LML.
I guess mine is based on my dad as well. In many ways he was a great guy, he had a good sense of humour and was very intelligent and well informed, but he always had to be right, and had quite rigid ideas and very high standards that we all had to meet. On the negative side, he was very critical and emotionally unavailable, his caring was very conditional and I can certainly relate to picking that in the men that I've been in relationships with.
The book looks interesting, I might order that although I've ordered a lot lately and not read them all yet.
my Imago is (and I will put this all in quotes, because it is fantasy) ' Strong, silently confident, sexy, tall and braod, mysterious, smart but did not let me know really, unemotional but would show it in physical form). Now ALL of this is a fantasy i made in my head about my dad ( not the sexy part). He was not strong he was avoidant. He was not confident he was walled. He was tall and handsome and that would make sense as to my ideal image of a man. In all this really shows me how my inner child has taken the reigns. I love this concept, it truly makes sense as to why LA stay with men who treat them less than.
.....A Journey of a thousand miles, begins with one small step....
This is interesting. I feel like my imago is the complete opposite of my dad, except for the unavailable part. My dad was weak, non-confident, unavailable, looked exactly like me, had the same personality as me , so obviously I'm attracted to everything opposite to that. I always become attracted to confident, cool, cute, smart and non clingy guys.
Susan, I will love to get some of your feedback on this,
This is a copy of an email I sent to a client awhile back. I hope it helps.
The Imago Theory
While we are growing up we fantasize about the future. If we are in a home where are needs are not being met, these fantasies become more Important as they are coping mechanisms or survival tools. They seem to be life or death.
These fantasies are recorded in a part of the brain called the amygdala.
These fantasies are influenced by our role-models (parents) because even though they are inadequate we love them.
Sometime during our adolescence the fantasies stop evolving and become set. Harville Hendrix says that these fantasies give birth to a fantasy person he calls the Imago.
When we give up getting what we need from our parents we seek love outside the family of origin. As we look for a mate we are drawn to people who resemble our unconscious Imago.
If our Imago is an unavailable parent then we are drawn to an unavailable person. My Imago was my father who was a weak alcoholic. I was attracted to weak men who drank too much. I wanted to take care of them the way I took care of my dad.
Many love addicts are afraid of deeper intimacy so they can fall into infatuation but they pick someone who is unsuitable so they never have to reach the deeper levels of union.
Many people are attracted to the wrong personality types because of all this.
They may also have some bad habits that sabotage relationships.
My goal is to help you understand what type of women to avoid and to become a better man so a good woman will be able to love you.
Harville Hendrix, "Getting the Love You Want," for couples.
Harville Hendrix, "Keeping the Love You find," for singles
Here are the fantasies and the behaviors I transferred into my relationships as an adult - still trying to fix my past.
Unfortunately we cannot "fix" the past. It is gone. The wound left behind is permanent. But we can transcend the past. We can process what happened. We can forgive. We can heal the adult who survived the past. We can do a lot. Mostly we can move on and stop blaming ourselves for what happened.
Eckhart Tolle said to escape the past we get out of our left brain and live in the NOW.
Thank You for this great article - My imago is quite mixed with my dads/stepdads /abusers image
- alcoholic unavailible father - unavailible mother; ( not sure why I think it infuences my wrong picker ; - narcistic / rageholic / sadistiic stepdad -plus uncles with incest trauma;
So I uses to go for alchoholic , sex addicts , dangerous and emotionally unavailible , might be a criminal past ( ex's); Sex was Love for me ;
Last relationship I Started suspect incest from my father ( image) sensations and awefull feelings of panic and anxiety and Yucky taste In my mouth . My ex was very sexually active , sadistic, lyer, active alhoholiic, unreliable, Love bombing, intensity and Love / soul mate . Prying togerher .... I cant still recover from this and Find difficulty to apply spiritual principles of Slaa recovery . Working Step 9 again after relapse and slip .
🕊 Depresed , lack of motivation and very agnostic. I
Post by loveanimals on Feb 11, 2019 22:59:42 GMT -8
Men who are much younger than me. Alcoholics, drug users, men with anxiety and depression. Definitely Narcissists who liked to Control me. Blonde surfer type of guys.
Maybe the Ken dolls I played with as a child? For alcoholics, drug users, men with anxiety and depression, I feel like they can related to my struggles with eating disorder, anxiety, depression and dependency on a prescription medication that the Dr. is slowly weaning me off of, as the withdrawals are so severe.