July 2, 2010

How Does Your Parents' Relationship Affect Your Own

(Reposted from Ask Dan and Jennifer)

Every family has its quirks and faults, its cultures and traditions. Every relationship has its neuroses and its deep-seeded, psychological behaviors, which are many times related to those families. It is no secret that how your parents treated one another can trickle down to you, providing you with the motivations or ideals to bring to your own relationships.


Were your parents loving and affectionate toward one another? Were they open about hugging and kissing? The easiest way to create an affectionate child is, well, to show affection. That child will then grow up to treat their partner with the same loving gestures that they witnessed in their own folks.


Eek! I know, no one wants to think of their parents having sex. However, if you were raised in a home in which your parents were not embarrassed about sex, didn’t mind answering questions or talking about it, you will likely carry that same tendency throughout all your relationships. This can make you a more attentive partner, more open-minded, and more accepting of the sexual world around you.

Argument Styles

How did your parents handle fights? Did they calmly discuss the matter in the bedroom, away from prying ears? Or did they yell and scream and throw things? Having grown up in such an atmosphere, you are more likely to handle fights like this, as well. If you start to feel like you’re losing control, leave the situation immediately. Sticking around will only escalate the argument, possibly to violence.

Multiple Marriages

It wasn’t long ago that second, third, and fourth (and so on) marriages were against the norm and looked down upon. In today’s society, though, it is becoming much more prevalent and acceptable. In the past, studies have shown that people who married multiple times were more likely to divorce. Now it seems the way this affects the children is that they may be less likely to endure or struggle to improve a bad relationship.


While much of how the parent handles the relationship seems to directly “inspire” the child’s, it is not always the case. While talking with a group of women about their parents’ relationships, a great many of them mentioned that one or both parents cheated on the other. Rather than this behavior passing down to their own relationships, the women instead took on a very firm stance against cheating. This seems to be one trait which so negatively impacts the child, that it is ingrained in them to despise all forms of cheating.

The Final Word

Regardless of how your parents carried out their relationships, you don’t have to do the same with yours. While the inclination to act a certain way may be strong within you, it is not mandated. By being conscious of your decisions to act a certain way or your ideals for what a relationship should be like, you can rise above (or emulate, if you desire) the relationship model which you have always known.

1 comment:

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

I'd say that my relationship with my husband is a lot like the one my parents have. We talk things out, we're both open with each other, we can easily show affection, etc. I guess we're lucky we were raised by such great parents!