The below is an extract from: Unraveling Family Secrets. Bert Hellinger interviewed on Family Constellations, By Humberto del Pozo in Santiago de Chile, September 1999.
Can you share with us some of your experiences with former partners?
Yes, from experiences I had recently with persons who have suffered a loss in favor of somebody within the family. For instance, a former wife of the father, from which he has separated. The new wife has an advantage because the other one suffered a loss, so the latter belongs to the family. And she will be represented always.
This is one of the laws to which I have seen no exception, she will be represented by a child of the second wife. One of the daughters, for instance, of the second wife will suddenly feel like the first wife. She becomes angry with her father and nobody knows why. That is again a result of the family consciousness. This is the family consciousness.
How do you work in a Family Constellations with such issues?
The family constellations shows the state of the family, where the problem is. In the case I have just mentioned as an example, I would bring into the family system a representative for the first wife. And then, the man, her former husband, will look at her and will tell her: “I am sorry I hurt you. I honor you as my first wife”. And the second wife will tell her: “You are the first, I am the second one. And please be kind if I keep my husband and please be kind to my children”. And then the daughter who represented the former wife no longer needs to do so and she can tell the woman who she represents … that is the former wife in the Constellation: “I am my father and mother’s daughter”. And she can tell her father: “You are my Dad, I am only your daughter. I have nothing to do with your former wife”. In such cases the daughter also becomes the rival of her mother because her father sees her as his former wife. She can now tell her mother. “You are my mother, I am your daughter, please be kind.”
I have observed that in situations like this children often develop eczema, which is a skin disease . It is very strange. I discovered it by chance. If there is a reconciliation between the two wives, the eczema heals or is alleviated. It shows that actually many illnesses are due to the family consciousness. So if you do this work you can help many people so they can live in a better way.