Do you know how to identify and change your addictive family patterns? If you don’t, then you need to read this book. Breaking Free: Identifying and Changing Your Addictive Family Patterns describes 12 addictive behavior patterns that prevent sustainability in your adult relationships. They say the first five years are the formative years and give you a foundation for the rest of your life. However, if you had conflicts that were not resolved or traumas you didn’t heal during that time, you will have cracks in your foundation that will make your adult life less successful than it could have been. Finally, if you do not know how to identify-change your family patterns, you will end up creating similar patterns in your children.
This book is a classic in the self-help book market. It was first released in 1987 and has gone through five other editions before this expanded edition. The First part of the book helps you identify 12 intergenerational family patterns that could be affecting your adult relationships. Any family patterns that you have not identified and changed will continue to show up in your adult relationships and affect them in unknown ways. These include family beliefs about sickness and death. My research has shown that these belief patterns of disease and death run in families and your life may depend on identifying these patterns. Do you know what the sickness and death patterns are in your family of origin? If you don’t you need to read this book.
The other family patterns include the following:
- The reappearance of unwanted parental traits in your adult relationships. “He has a temper just like my father.”
- An instant replay of co-dependent family patterns in your adult relationships. “She is so clingy just like my mother was.”
- Living out your parent’s relationship in your adult relationships. “We seem to do the same things that your parents always do.”
- Disapproving of things other say and do in similar ways that your parents did. “My Dad didn’t like Jews and I don’t either.”
- Getting Even with your spouse because of how your parents hurt you. “You criticize me like my Mom used to do.”
- Acting weak and helpless. “You need to take care of me because I am too sick to go to work.”
- Seeing life as a struggle. “Why does everything seem so hard?”
- Sexual repression. “Since we had our first child, you don’t seem to be interested in sex anymore.”
- Being asked to take care of your parents needs before taking care of your own. “I had to grow up too fast and I missed doing certain fun things when I was a child.”
- A fear of success due to loyalty and legacy issues. “We can’t have a better house than our parents have.”
- A fear of the unfamiliar causing an addiction to your family patterns and traditions. “Why can’t we have our own Christmas instead of following what your parents do?”
Once you have identified all 12 patterns, then you will need to know how to change them. The second part of the book shows you how to change your family patterns and break free of the hold they may have on your life and relationships. Unless you identify and change these family patterns they are destined to show up in your current adult relationships. Thousands of folks, like you, have read the book and sent me reports about how much the book helped them. Here is what some of them wrote:
“I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in learning how their family of origin has impacted their life. Barry shows us with kindness and caring how we can move forward and have a more productive and healthy life.” C. H.
Another reader wrote: “The author clearly teaches you how to separate yourself from the issue and gives you the steps to move forward and be the healthy adult you should be. I can say that this helped me very much and would recommend it to anyone whether they have dysfunction in their homes or not!” A. R.
Finally, this reader put it succinctly: “Read this book if you want real change, I recommend it with my full heart.” A. B.
Every adult exhibits some addictive family patterns. These are so common that they go unnoticed, until something disrupts your life that clearly originated in your family of origin. This book will help you understand why this happens to everybody and what to do about it.
I have worked with thousands of adults in my private practice as a psychologist and this is where I usually start with a new client. I ask them to connect the dots and identify what family patterns still interfere with them having harmonious adult relationships. When these family patterns show up in your adult relationships, it is a good sign that you are ready to change them. This book shows you how to do that.