(Closed) I want to have a better marriage than my parents

posted 9 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
Member
778 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: March 2009

Have you ever thought about seeking counseling just to discuss what you went through growing up.  Personally I dont think you will ever be like that with your current SO.  However, other issues can arise from all that insecurity growing up.

I know that I knew I didn’t want to have my parents relationship either but their relationship wasn’t as bad as your parents seem to be. They just were awful at communicating with each other and both of them were very passive aggressive with each other.   Before marriage my husband and I discussed that with each other and agreed to be as open and direct with each other as possible to avoid communication issues.

(Hugs)

You seem to love each other and I’m sure that you can work through this, even with a little help.

Post # 4
Member
652 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

the only thing i can say is to learn from your parents mistakes, as well as the mistakes of many others, and apply what you learn to your relationship to help it continue to nuture and grow through your life

Post # 5
Member
773 posts
Busy bee

I am a big believer that arguing is healthy in a relationship.  Obviously your parents were arguing in an unhealthy way, but having emotions is natural, and you should not bottle up your feelings.  When you are angry, you have to communicate that to your fiance, even if it means having an argument.  Arguing is NOT a bad thing!  Cheating, throwing things, and violence are bad.  I think you should definitely discuss this with your officiant or a pre-marital counselor, so you can learn some tools for having healthy, helpful arguments.

  

Post # 6
Bee
1048 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2009 - City Hall

I second the counseling. If you’re worried about having a toxic relationship in the future, it’s best to learn how to argue now (because no matter how passive you are, arguments will come up). My ex and I never argued, but it was because we really didnt do anything together and neither of us really cared about what the other cared about enough to complain. You don’t want to be THOSE people either – married people who live in the same house but live separate lives. So yeah. I’d say be conscious of your experiences (you seem to be) and also possibly seek counseling to talk about these things with your Fiance.

Post # 7
Member
2000 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2009

I agree that counseling would be good for you — individually and as a couple. It gives you space to talk about these issues and helps you figure out why you feel the way you feel about these things and gives you tools to deal with issues when they come up.

Post # 8
Member
445 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2007

I have to say that I sort of have the opposite view as amandopolis. While I don’t think that you should keep your feelings bottled up inside and communication is key, that might not necessarily result in an argument. For the first 2 years that my husband and I started dating, we never fought. So many people told me that our relationship was unhealthy b/c we didn’t argue, and I hated that. We were just very good at communicating with each other on things and were very considerate of each other. We’ve had arguments since, but usually, they result from one of us not letting the other know our true feelings or not communicating properly. I’m not saying that those who argue have issues, but I also believe that you can have a solid relationship without arguing…just discussing things at length.

With that said, I do agree with everyone in that counseling will absolutely benefit you. I’m in your situation as well. My parents don’t have an awful marriage, but my mom is extremely demanding, and my dad is very passive. My mom will fly off the handle if something doesn’t go her way, and my dad has allowed that for the last 32 years. I have seen that my entire life growing up, and I know I do have some personality traits from my mom. In the same respect, my husband cannot stand how irritable his dad is all the time with his mom. He cuts her down constantly, and we’ve both vowed that we do not want to be like our parents in any way. Growing up living that has shown us that we just don’t want marriages like theirs. We both catch ourselves at times acting like our parents, but we’re very good at calling each other out on it (and not in the heat of the moment to use against each other). Going to pre-marital counseling really helped both of us recognize what our parents do to each other, and exactly what we DON’T want in our marriage. I think after a year and a half of marriage, we’re both very good at stopping that from coming out in our personalities.

You can make your marriage whatever you want it to be. Try to recognize if you’re ever starting to act the way that your parents do. Even if it’s after the fact. Admitting that you did something wrong is the first step in correcting it, and trying to make sure that it doesn’t happen in the future. I’m glad you’re thinking about this now when you can try to prevent it from happening. I think you’re on track for a great marriage!

Post # 9
Member
11 posts
Newbee

justacameragirl, I’m sending you a big *hug* because it’s definitely hard to go through the whole wedding planning process when you’re dealing with personal issues like this, and I really admire you for working through them.

That being said, I really think the fact that you’re actively making efforts to avoid the tendencies of your parents’ marriage completely sets you apart from them. You mention that your emotions can get overwhelming… I’m not sure what you mean by that. Just being women, I think we have a tendency to be a little more emotional than men. But provided you can still step back and tell yourself "I don’t need to be upset about this, it isn’t necessary," I doubt you have anything to really worry about. If you are concerned that you may end up letting your emotions get the best of you, you may want to take some of the other bees’ advice and talk to a counselor, just to learn how to conquer them. 

I relate to you a little, because my parents’ marriage was far from ideal (Multiple police visits and broken tableware? Totally been there, ugh.), although most of the turmoil centered around my mother’s erratic behavior and tendency to fly off the handle at even the slightest problem. Growing up watching her, I always told myself I’d never be like that. Anytime I get upset about something, I always ask myself "is it logical to be upset about this?" and usually I can pull myself back from overreacting.

I’m glad you have an understanding fiance to help you through it. I wish you both the best, and I’m sure you will have a wonderful marriage.

Post # 10
Member
7081 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2009

The fact that you are thinking about this already bodes well for you 🙂

You know, I don’t think couples have to fight.  I was always told that, but in my relationship it just isn’t the case.  I was sure for a long time that there was something wrong with us because we didn’t fight.  I even asked my counselor about it, I was so concerned.  It was also the only thing I knew from the model my parents set for me.  Things almost didn’t feel right because there were no blow outs…

I agree that arguing isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it is not a prerequisite for a good relationship either.

I think (and I’ve said it twice today) that exploring past family issues in the engagement period with a professional can only help!

Post # 11
Member
193 posts
Blushing bee

I agree that the fact that you’re already thinking about this bodes well for your relationship.

Keep in mind that your parents’ marriage can affect your own relationship in more than one way:

1. Your worry can keep you vigilant, motivate you to find healthier expressions of your emotions and maintain your relationship in positive ways.

2. Your worry can, if unchecked, undermine the relationship. You can begin to see problems that don’t exist or fail to settle into and enjoy your marriage because you’re constantly on the lookout for problems.

People rarely wake up one day and decide to throw plates. I also have very intense emotions, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll simply decide to turn to violence, or drinking, or cheating on my partner to express them. It’s great that you’re self-aware enough to recognize that you can have strong emotions. But really, if you have no history of violence in your past, it’s very unlikely that it will be a part of your future. 

Have confidence in yourself and your fiance. Use your parents’ marriage as a model of how not to behave, learn about how to manage any inevitable disagreements or stress that arises, and enjoy your relationship.

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