(Closed) How does your parents’ relationship shape your outlook on marriage?

posted 10 years ago in Family
Post # 3
206 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

My parents are divorced and have been since I was 3. My dad cheated on my mom with my now step mom… But, this doesn’t mean that I will cheat or that I will have a failed marriage! Yeah, it was weird for me growing up to not ever even remember my parents being married, so the thing that scares me the most is that I haven’t had a good role model marriage to look to or to know what to expect. However, my mom and dad are both remarried and now both have great relationships. I understand that people make mistakes and sometimes things don’t work out, but if they wouldn’t have ever gotten married then I wouldn’t be here today! I’m a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. There is NEVER a gaurantee about ANYTHING, but just because your parents don’t have a happy marriage doesn’t mean you won’t! If everyone thought that, then NO ONE would have a good marriage! So, I try not to let it affect my thoughts on marriage. I think that the love I have for my fiance is worth taking a risk and worth fighting for 🙂

Post # 4
760 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

My parents are coming up on the 40th wedding anniversary. They get a long great, they do everything with one another and really enjoy one another’s company. Now, FI’s parents have been married for over 30 years, and FI’s mother talks a lot about how lonely her marriage is. Her and her husband don’t do anything or go anywhere. FI’s father keeps to himself, and pushes everyone away. They don’t talk, and FI’s father is just turning into a grumpy old man. Does this affect my outlook on marriage, absolutely not. I have an idea of how I want my marriage to be and what I don’t want it to be. As long as Fiance and I are happy and love one another, that’s all that matters

Post # 5
2095 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Honestly because my paretns married and divorced at an early age it made me want to make darn sure before I walked down that aisle. Which is why I didn;t get married until I was 32. I have been engaged 3 times prior but it never worked out. I never want to get divorced and it is not in the cards for me. My grandparents had a wonderful marriage that lasted until the day my grandfather died and that is what I was always looking for.

Post # 6
1109 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

My parents have been married for 35 years and get along better now then when we were kids. I think the stress of having kids around and not a lot of money was hard for them, but they stuck it out and my mom is very proud of that. It doesn’t hurt that my dad worships my mother, he thinks she’s the most beautiful, smart, athletic and accomplished woman in the world, and he’ll tell anyone. It’s really cute how proud he is of her. I think that helped when he made stupid mistakes, she forgave him because his heart is always in a good place. I think it’s helped me to see that women can be traditional wives but also accomplish a lot for themselves with the help of a supportive husband. Both sets of grandparents were the same, proud husband – happy wife, and both sets flirted, like literally giggled and flirted, with each other all the time.

My FI’s parent’s marriage literally scares me, they’ve made it through rocky times but they’re mean to each other IMO. It works for them I guess, but I hope we never end up like that.

Post # 7
6013 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

My parents were married for 27 years before my mom passed away.  They had a great relationship, they were each other’s best friends and still made each other laugh and were still all over each other. 

My mom was pretty honest with us about the reason she got married,(to stick it to my controlling grandmother) and the demise of her first marriage and the effects that had on my older brothers.   

My parents both said that there are three keys to having a good marriage, not in any paticular order, sexual attraction, the ability to talk/share and inspiration. That this person you are with makes you want to be a better person and they feel the same way.

Fi’s parents have both been divorced twice and he himself was already divorced.  We’ve talked about all of the divorces and why they even got married.  So i’m sure he’s in it for the right reasons this time.  

Post # 8
3670 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

My parents divorced when I was 19 but had not been happy for a while.  They fought a lot throughout my later childhood.  I honestly think it made me look harder for someone who was respectful of me and was able to communicate effectively.  It also makes me want to work through everything that causes tension so we don’t get to the fighting all the time point.  

I think there was one thing that was the most important that I took out of my parents’ marriage though.  I watched them unhappy for so many years.  They obviously had fallen out of love.  Toward the end, I never even saw them hug, they just coexisted in the same house but didn’t really spend any time together.  So the one thing I learned was try to make it work but if it isn’t, move on.  Don’t leave at the first sign of weakness but if you can’t work through it, don’t stay in a loveless marriage.  

It does make me more afraid of divorce than others seem to be though.  While we’re young (23), we worked for a while (5 years) on making sure we communicated efficiently and neither of us ever second guessed the decision to get married. 

Post # 9
7772 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

I had an experience similar to yours. My parents have been married for 36 years but I wouldn’t classify them as good years. I know for a fact that they seriously discussed divorce at least 3 times in their marriage and my dad has cheated on my mom, possibly multiple times.

We had a very volatile household growing up. My parents fought A LOT and for long periods of time. My dad makes snide comments about my mom’s weight and used to verbally abuse us as well. I vividly remember spending quite a bit of my childhood crying with my head under a pillow.

If anything, it definitely taught me not to tolerate someone putting me down. DH has been on about me watching my weight since I got pregnant and I find it very hurtful, in a fit of hormonal rage I actually told him that I refused to be married to a man who made me feel inferior to him and I would “hop my ass on a flight home and find a lawyer.” I also think that it made me realize how important it is to learn to communicate effectively. My parents don’t know how, they are either silent, sarcastic or yelling. I don’t want us to fall into that pattern.

Post # 10
1160 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

This is a great topic, it’s so interesting to hear everyone’s experiences.

Yes, my parents are divorced and I would say for the final 4-5 years of their marriage, they never communicated right. I was a teenager at the time, so I couldn’t put my finger on it, but it was like they were two completely opposite people who had no idea how they’d gotten into the same house together. But were still going through the “motions.” I don’t think that describes it well, but it was very cold and very uncomfortable.

Actually, I do know what it felt like–they weren’t FRIENDS anymore.

It is wonderful to see my dad and stepmom now. They have gone through some tough stuff but are friends always. They laugh together and work together. It’s great.

As for us, well we dated for almost a decade before getting married (his parents’ marriage sucks too). We can still laugh together and are still friends.

Post # 11
7429 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2009

My parents have been together almost their whole lives, and are coming up on their 33rd wedding anniversary. They are still like teenagers in love, and I have always wanted what they have. Things have not always been easy, but they’ve always been able to work through it. I’ve modeled my marriage off of theirs, they have been great role models for a lasting marriage. Father-In-Law and hubs mom divorced when he was a teenager, but the marriage was over long before (his mom is a drunk, his dad is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and he finally couldn’t take it anymore. I don’t blame him one bit) and now he’s engaged to an awesome lady that we all love.

Post # 12
2450 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

After my parents had their first date (blind date, i believe), my mom went home and said that he was the man she was going to marry. She was right. They have been happily together ever since. They have a marriage with traditional male/female roles in the relationship (submissive wife, man in charge) and they have the best marriage I’ve seen when I compare it with my friends’s parents.

I think it’s because of them that I was able to throw myself whole-heartedly into this relationship even though it happened so fast. And it’s because of them that I have no doubts about where we are going (relationship-wise… money-wise is a totally different issue LOL).

Post # 13
3521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

My parents were never married, and I suspect they were never even in a relationship. It hasn’t affected my outlook whatsoever, though–it’s life, and their choices don’t need to influence my choices. Not everyone has two parents, and not everyone needs to have that sort of structure.

When I was younger, though, I never dreamed of my wedding or of getting married; it just wasn’t a priority to me at all, and until I met DH, I figured I’d probably never marry (and was fine with it). 

Post # 14
4822 posts
Honey bee

I think a lot of it depends on the personality of the kids.  Some will take bad times to heart and it will scare them off, some will learn from it, etc.

Just like parenting. You can be a great parent but have one kid turn out great and the other with a mess of troubles. 

Its how the personality interprets life experiences.

My mom was divorced from my now estranged father when I was in 6th grade. I never thought love couldnt happen. I just thought my dad was a douche. He was.

She is now married to a fabulous man who I consider my father.

Post # 15
1684 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

My parents divorced when I was young. My mom remarried a horrible man, and we all suffered for years because she wouldn’t leave him–that would mean the relationship had failed. (She clung to the belief for a very long time that if you just try harder you can make any relationship work.) It took a court order to have him removed from the house before she would quit trying. There are some very unhappy marriages that persist in my family because of this attitude. (My dad never remarried.)

I carried my mom’s attitude with me for a while, and had some pretty bad relationships that I stayed in for a lot longer than I should’ve because of it. And I learned that no relationship is better than a bad relationship, and that no matter how hard you try, you can’t make someone love you or be good to you if they don’t want to, or don’t care. And that the only “failure” as far as relationships are concerned, is staying past the expiration date because you’re too afraid or apathetic or ashamed to leave.

It makes me sad to watch my sisters repeat my mom’s mistakes, and to watch them stay in unhappy, unhealthy relationships because they don’t want to “fail.”

(Which isn’t to say that I don’t think relationships take work, or that people shouldn’t try and work it out in the rough patches. But if that’s all you’re ever doing…)

Post # 16
6994 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: February 2011

My parents have been married for 38 years with 5 kids (1 being mentally challanged) and though im sure they had their share of problems they are very much still in love. My husbands parents have been married for 30 years and have 13 kids. I truely believe growing up in a house where my parents continually show each other affection really set the bar high for me and what i wanted in a marriage – i would never settle for less than they have. We both went into this knowing that we only want to be married once and for it to last a lifetime and i think both sets of parents set a really good example of how a marriage should be. I always turn to my mother for advice on being a wife.

BUT thats just how it worked out for me, i look at my sister on the other hand who has serious patterns of being in unhealthy relationships and i sometimes i wonder how she can just settle for that. I think a lot of her issues stem from her childhood though – my parents were GREAT parents but my sister is 9 years older than me and the oldest child. My mom had her then about 3 yeasr later had my other sister who had serious health issues, after that my parents decided not to have any more children well…6 years later they decided to try again and had me 🙂 then when i was a month old she got pregnant again with my brother. 2 years after my  brother was born she had my youngest little brother so my parents had their hands full with a new born 2 toddlers and a mentally challanged daughter and truely feel my sister probably didnt get the attention she craved from them and i think that plays a huge part in her relationships today.

so there are two very different sides to this – i think a lot of it really depends on your enviornment and personality and not necessarily on the relationship of your parents though i do think it can play into it as well – it did for me… i will always look to my parents for inspiration and try and model my marraige after theirs…but in my own way. I respect and admire them very much.

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