Love Lessons: What We Learn from Our Parents

Show Affection

Shaynarivka says that although she knows her parents loved each other, they never showed any visible signs of affection in front of her or her sister. "I think their lack of tenderness has affected me, because I have difficulty feeling comfortable being affectionate with men," she says.

Dnmegg's parents didn't show affection for each other, either -- in fact, she used to beg her mother to leave her father. Now Dnmegg is getting out: "Just like my mom, I put off leaving my husband for years. I thought I could and should stay until our girls were grown and out of the house. But my children deserve to know what it looks and feels like when two people love each other and show it."

Naug was more fortunate. Her parents used to kiss a lot. "Whenever they did, me and my sister would yell, 'They're married!' as if the kiss were at the end of a wedding ceremony," Naug says. "I try to do the same with my husband -- we kiss and hug a lot in front of the kids. There's a lot of affection in our house, just like there was when I was growing up."

Marriage Takes Work, But It's All Worth It

"I have been very fortunate to have a positive example of marriage in my life," says Staceyinsf, whose parents have been happily married for nearly 40 years. "Their relationship makes me believe that a lifelong marriage is possible. But it has also made me aware that to achieve that takes work and commitment."

French 5 agrees, saying that she learned a lot from her parents, the most important thing being that marriage isn't easy. "You have to work at it," she says, "but the rewards are worth it."

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