People often end up in relationships that mirror some important relationship in the family where they grew up.

Children of alcoholics marry alcoholics.
Abused children marry abusive spouses.
Men who have emotionally distant fathers become emotionally distant husbands.
These are the extremes.
But the phenomenon occurs in many smaller, subtler ways as well.

Why is this?

Comfort with the situation. 

Psychologists explain that people learn how to behave in the family situation where they grew up.
As a result, they are comfortable in this kind of situation.
This fundamental comfort level applies even if the situation was unhealthy, angry, or abusive.
So people end up "comfortable" in relationships that mirror these unpleasant experiences.

A Desire to Resolve the Situation. 

People may also stage and replay scenarios from their childhood that had unhappy outcomes in order to try to end them differently in their adult lives.
The need to replay a conflict in order to resolve it can assert itself strongly where the party abruptly cut off relations with his parent by moving away and severing contact.
Thus, paradoxically, the person who seems the most independent of his parents (because he cut the parental ties) is actually the most likely to be bound up in the same kind of situation as the one he left (because of an internal need to play the conflict to its conclusion).

If a parent died young, or if the parents were divorced, the child (now an adult) may feel the same kinds of urges to recreate the family dynamics in his or her adult relationships.