Love Lessons: What We Learn from Our Parents

Natmor learned a similar lesson the hard way. After watching her parents divorce when she was only four, then remarry two more times, she vowed never to put her children through that kind of turmoil. "My husband and I have been together for 25 years," she says. "They haven't all been years of bliss. We've had major fights, loved and hated each other, cared for each other. But we made a commitment to each other years ago, and we're sticking to it. The only exception would have been if my life or the lives of my children had ever been in danger. Then I would have left. But barring that, I think it's important for children to see the realities of marriage -- words of love as well as arguments."

Wait for Mr. Right

"My parents have six marriages between them. I grew up not ever wanting to marry for fear the marriage would fail," says Bjmoth71. "So I spent many years reflecting and figuring out what I really wanted in a mate. Thanks to my parents' failure, I learned that waiting for the right person to come along is the best thing that anyone can do for themselves. At 28 I found a wonderful man, and I married him. It was the best thing I ever did."

Friendship is Key

"Every day I feel more and more fortunate and thankful for the family I have," says Ricamg. "My parents loved each other to the point of worshipping the ground each other walked on. And they loved us kids unconditionally. The good things they taught me about relationships are too numerous to count, but one thing stands out: You and your spouse have to be friends. If you can't stand just hanging out and doing fun stuff with your partner, the relationship won't work."

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