Have you ever considered how much your parents attitudes or behaviours influenced the choices you made in your own relationships? Failed relationships, questionable marriages, how many times have you reflected upon your own upbringing and wondered whether or not your own parents treatment of each other influenced your own ideas of commitment?
I found it difficult to sleep last night thinking about this conundrum. After many hours of contemplating my own expectations, I reached some rather interesting conclusions. Growing up and watching how my parents interacted with each other set up the first model of how a relationship should look like. Each time my mum and dad had a disagreement, I would witness how they communicated and sorted out their problems. As I grew older, this impression was altered by things like tv shows, movies, books, and how my friends’ parents interacted with each other. But despite all the influences I had around me, I still believe that my perception towards relationships remained largely influenced by my parents.
When you think about it, it really isn’t surprising that our parents taught us how to approach our own relationships. By watching how our mums and dads interacted with each other, we learned how to express and receive love, how to handle disagreements and how to process our feelings. Despite our parents best intentions, there are times when our mums and dads would have a disagreement, or even an argument that would leave us bewildered or even a little afraid. I remember one time when I was young when my mum said she was leaving. I don’t remember all the details, but after my parents argument my mum got in her car and drove away. Within a few hours my mum returned home, I later found out she only made it to the next town were she called into a friend and vented her frustrations over a few cups of tea.
After that situation, I remember my parents being more affectionate with each other. For me, it taught me that problems can be sorted out, after you take a break from each other and have time to think clearly 🙂 Parents are supposed to teach us what is considered morally right from wrong. They teach you how to interact with each other. Think about your own parents – Did they kiss and hug in front of you? How did they handle conflict? Did they support and encourage each others careers? Did they go out for dinner? How did they interact with their friends and family?
Parents are powerful role models, sometimes the way they act or the decisions they make can impact the way we view dating, or even marriage. Both our mums and dads can influence our future thoughts such as doing things you’d like to do that they did, and things that you wouldn’t do that they did. As we grow older we continue to be influenced by everything around us. We are constantly being ‘educated’. What society says is right and wrong, what is considered normal and what is not.
Some of us may have a murky idea of what love is and what it means to be in love. But there is so much information around today: media websites, television, papers and magazines. To say we don’t know how to be nice, polite, respectful or how to treat another human being, is to admit you choose to be naive. You purposely choose not to better yourself. Kindness, love, compassion – the ability to enter a relationship with someone and love them, to sort through problems without harm or neglect, can be one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have.
What did my parents teach me about relationships? My parents taught me patience, to listen and to be kind. No-one is perfect, but my mum and dad taught me how to sit down and work out your problems. If you feel frustrated and angry, go and get some fresh air. Visit a friend and have a cuppa 🙂 Clear your thoughts then sit down and work it out, together. I come from a loving family. Not everyone does. Despite how much of an influence our parents have had on us, we are still human beings. We never stop learning. We have a choice, right or wrong, in sickness and in health, to be loving caring individuals.
Our parents relationships may have had a significant influence on how we treat those around us. It could be good, it could be not so good. When we are young we perceive things as normal. Some of you will more than likely mirror those habits in your own lives. Life is meant to be lived, enjoyed, and to love each and every moment. Not to belittle it with constant hurtful decisions. You get more from life when you are happy, when you are healthy and when you are loved. Love, it is a powerful emotion, and one that can bring us to our knees. Embrace it, live it, enjoy it, make wonderful memories and set your own example to be proud of.
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