Most of the time, your parents and their relationship are the first people you ever interact with. They set the bar for everything, from your values to your interests to your relationships (romantic and platonic), and they set the standard for everything else.
The first relationship you probably see between your parents is the one you see before you start dating before you start thinking about starting a relationship, or even before you see characters dating in your favorite movies and TV shows.
This reveals a lot about what you later consider to be “normal” or “not normal” relationships. For a variety of reasons, you may find yourself drawn to friends who remind you of your parents.
4 Affects Your Parents’ Relationship Has On You
The debate about “nature versus nurture” looks at how much of a person’s personality and behavior came from their genes and how they were raised. This has to do with your parents on either side. The following are four different ways your folks’ relationship might have influenced your grown-up life.
1. Your own romantic relationships
They were a happy couple like any other before they became your parents. Think back to the romantic interactions your parents had.
Did they show each other affection or hold hands? Did they continue to date? Did they share equal responsibility for household duties? Did they treat one another with kindness? Or, if they broke up, were they nice and friendly around you, or did they talk bad about each other behind their backs?
From the beginning, our parents serve as role models for everything, including romantic behavior. We frequently end up wishing for ourselves the things that make our parents happy, like the things that we enjoy about our parents’ relationship.
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2. Your ability to be vulnerable
Your desire to make yourself vulnerable to others will be seriously hampered if you observed that any display of vulnerability by one parent resulted in dismissal, denigration, or invalidation by the other.
Even though this may not appear to be a big deal on the surface, being vulnerable with friends, family, romantic partners, and yes, even your therapist, is what leads to change and growth. Giving others a glimpse of who you really encourages them to do the same, which in turn fosters intimacy with you.
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3. How do you handle conflict
Because this is what we have grown accustomed to, we frequently have the propensity to replicate conflict patterns in our own relationships that we have observed in the relationships between our parents.
On one end of the spectrum, research has demonstrated that children who witness domestic violence between their parents frequently have a tendency to either become abusers or victims (often depending on gender or the parent with whom they most closely identify).
However, this also contains a significant amount of ambiguity. Perhaps passive-aggressive communication was how your parents resolved disagreements. When the other person did something that hurt, irritated, or angered them, perhaps they were very forthcoming about their feelings.
4. How you express emotions
Some families are like emotional icebergs in that you can only see a small number of emotions on the surface, but underneath there are a lot more that are hidden because people are discouraged or there is no way to show them.
When we are young, it is essential for our parents to talk about both the good and bad feelings with us because it gives us permission to experience all of our emotions. It is essential for us to understand that it is acceptable for us to express our sadness, anger, and love for others (in a healthy manner) without fear of repercussions.
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