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Leslie Whittaker

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Is Your Parents Relationship Threatening Yours?
by Leslie Whittaker   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Thursday, December 10, 2009
Posted: Thursday, December 10, 2009

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So, how much of a factor does our parents relationship play a part in our own relationships? Do we find ourselves mimicking theirs or do we purposely go in the opposite direction from theirs?

It was barely 9am and they were at it again, this was the second Sunday in a row. From a whole floor below I could hear their shouting, the loud screams, the threats, the slamming doors and the even more argumentative and explosive return. Empty threats of calling the cops. Empty threats of divorce. Empty threats that had been going on for countless years. Foul words tossed carelessly about in the heat of the moment. Tempers flaring with no extinguisher in sight. Not that this was anything new. From years of this continual argument, my ears became numb to the constant bickering choosing to tune it in or out without even a second thought. For as long as I can remember it had always been this way. Moments of blissful happiness in a lifetime of arguing. And this was my relationship model. Could this be why I have a commitment phobia and a panic attack when someone says the dreaded R word: relationship.


As part of their parental responsibility parents serve to teach us, guide us, advise us, and instruct us so that we can function successfully in the world. A lot of their responsibilities are examined everyday in the media but what about the unconscious models that they represent such as the primary relationship model that we, as children, grow up observing and learning from. From birth we watch how they interact, how they treat one another, and they become our model for love and partnership. While other factors contribute to our relationship model such as close friends and family, TV and movies, and societies depiction of the “perfect” relationship, our parents remain steadfast as the main model. So how much of a factor does our parents relationship play a part in our own relationships? Do we find ourselves mimicking theirs or do we purposely go in the opposite direction from theirs?


If you have the uncommon euphoric parental model do you grown up with a vision of a perfect romance, a perfect relationship with mere moments of disappointment coupled with an eternity of happiness? With argumentative parents who, despite their apparent despondent relationship, still manage to remain together would a child be more or less likely to be in argumentative relationship or would the child fear relationships altogether as a grown-up? Can we predict someone’s relationship behavior based upon their parents?


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