Relationships and Parents

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Relationships and Parents
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 2:21pm
Do you think that your parents have had an effect on your relationships now? Is it a good or bad influence? Why do you think so?

I have realized lately that I have some real issues that I wasn't aware of. I can't think of a single marriage that I have seen that has worked. My parents, my uncles, aunts, sister, etc. have all gotten divorced or are in unhappy marriages. I'm also realizing that I am absolutely terrified of committment because I don't want to make a mistake like so many of my relatives have. I realized this when I went to book our flight to Florida, and actually giving the credit card number was very difficult for me. The only thing that was going through my mind was what if something happens and this flight is a mistake and I should have done something else? I think I'm the same way with relationships. Although I want to be married eventually, I can't imagine actually going through with it. To me marriage is forever, and forever is so uncertain.

I'm beginning to think I'm just really screwed up.

Avatar for autumnstar02
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 3:46pm
I think my parents had a bad influence on my view of relationships. My situation is similar to yours, but has manifested itself in a different way. My parents are divorced (dad on his 3rd marriage), everyone in my family has been in or is now in bad relationships or divorces. There just is no healthy relationship to model in my family. None.

So, I am terrified (inside) of commitment. I seek men who cannot commit to me in one way or another. If they can't commit...then I have no way to get hurt by them. I hurt when it ends, but it was my fault for getting into a relationship that couldnt work...and I knew it. It is all very confusing. My first bf felt inferior because I had a college degree and he didn' he wouldn't leave me. My ex fiance was having psychological problems and would need me. My last bf was out of a marriage and wasn't really ready to commit. Although out of the 3, I still talk to my last ex...and I could see us getting back together when our situations clear up in our heads. :-) I'm not holding out hope though. I know it may not happen.

Anyway, I have no good model of a relationship and have recently figured this out. I have been seeking out people to model and I am finally learning what a good marriage is like. I am working on myself and am less scared to make "the plunge". LOL



iVillage Member
Registered: 05-28-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 5:44pm
Oh yeah, without a doubt! Our parents are the first place we learn how couples interact, whether right or wrong we learn later, and that's bound to replay throughout our lives until we consciously take hold of ourselves and change! I think it's John Bradshaw (or maybe James Redfield) who says that the drama of our parents' lives will repeat into ours if there is no healing or closure of issues, and we will pass it on to our kids, and them to our grandkids, and so on and so on.

My parents divorced when I was 2 (no recollection, I only know that I made up stories of where my dad really was), and I barely saw my dad for most of my life... once a year, if I was lucky and his finances would allow it. So, my single mother on drugs showed me the way to live and love and relate to people. I never knew how bad things were, or how messed up my perception was, until just a few years ago. That's not to say with my big awakening *grin* things magically changed, but having a chance to step outside of myself really helped to bring things to my awareness. Like, I never realized that so much of my emotional shut-out was/is directly related to listening to my mom cry to these *ssh*l*s and watching them feed off of it, and then having her take her reaction out on me. I have a thing for bad boys, guess what all the male role-models in my life were? I insist on making a breakup work into "lets just be friends", after seeing my mom manage it with my dad (at least, acquaitances) but then really NOT manage it with all the *ssh*l*s.

Its funny how in some ways we clearly repeat the same things our parents did (only a bit more updated to this decade), and other times we rebel and struggle so hard to get away and change, and we do it all over again anyways.

Well, if you're screwed up, I'm screwed up too, and so are my two best friends, and..... maybe we should all get together for coffee, and write a screenplay of our lives. Jewel can direct it, you gotta write it though 'cause you're good with your words, Lisa can produce it, I would love to be an actress for a minute...

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-07-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 7:03am
I've read these posts on marriages that went bad, relationships that were bad... I'm not sure where I fit.

My dad died when I was 8. It has been me & my mom ever since. She never re-married because there was no one who was like my dad.

I guess my parents had a good marriage while it lasted. I never saw them argue, but they would fuss at each other on occasion. Anything that my mom wanted to do, like go back to school, my dad supported, and vice versa. After dad retired, he would pick me up from school and take me out for ice cream (before dinner!), or we would go to the nursery and buy plants, or whatever. That only lasted a year...

OK, gotta switch marriages. I'm getting verklempt.

Both of my aunts (mom's sisters) are widows, with my uncle's death 2 years ago. He and my aunt used to snipe, bicker, and just flat out holler at one another. They were also married 50 years. I asked my uncle one day, "Why do you put up with her screaming insults at you? I would have the divorce lawyers on the phone." He replied, "We've been married too long. And I don't like her enough to divorce her." But this man would lay down his life for her. My aunt went into the hospital with pneumonia and he cried for 2 days because he didn't know what to do without her if she died... which didn't happen, thank God! He used to work 3 jobs when they first married and had their son, so she could be a stay-at-home-mom. And he would do the laundry, clean, etc. Just awesome.

I have friends who are married, and most of them were determined to get married. I have no idea why. I had watched their bad relationships happen, and just scratched my head. What was the point of all that effort and pain? One college friend stayed married for about a year...her husband left after about 5 months, and I won the bet. The divorce just became final.

My best friend has been married for 10 years. She and her husband dated for about 5 before they were married, and they fight and bicker, but like my parents, anything that she wants to do, he supports 100% and she does the same for him. Right now she is in New York at a Romance Writers Convention.

I have models of good relationships, but I seem to find my bad ones anyway because I'm naive and stupid. I also have the trust issues that come from finding out that the guy you're hooked on isn't what he seems. So when I DO have someone who IS what he seems, I have trouble believing him.

It's much easier to be alone. I can trust myself, and if I can't, it's not like I would be surprised at what I find.

I'll probablys stay single until I'm about 80 and can't live alone anymore. Someone will have to push my wheelchair!

summer 2010 sig by Tara

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-22-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 11:57am
Parents definitely influence--

Not only does marriage seem distant and impossible (it didn't work for mine until the 2nd time around--each with a new spouse), but I've found that my dating patterns are somewhat similar to my mom's. Growing up she dated several different men--all who had some kind of big problem or weren't emotionally available. Welcome to my dating world. I'm not the best at picking out guys who are mature enough for relationships...

thanks for the inheritance, parents!

Avatar for cl_shywon
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-20-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 11:59am
I think that bickering on occasion is perfectly normal. I'd prefer that to a marriage where the two people don't even talk to each other. It sounds like you have some good models there.

I totally understand the trust issues. I think I have the same problems. Trusting myself is SO much easier because I know what I'm going to do, and I usually know what I'm thinking. Risking it on someone else is much harder. I'm trying, though. I do want to be married, and in order for that to happen, I have to take a risk.