How often did we have the thoughts “I never want the kind of marriage my parents had?” This thought is often borne out of the negative emotions of disappointments, hurt, pain or even deep-seated anger towards one or both parents or care-givers for having to cope with the exposure to traumatic or abusive relationships our parents had with each other. Our exposure to fantasy and fiction through the media of various kind has however also helped shape our beliefs that our parents’ relationships wasn’t necessarily the real-deal and was perhaps dysfunctional.
So, our need to have near-perfect relationships and marriages unlike what our parents had becomes a very intense expectation we take into marriage. We go all out as individuals to be the perfect spouse, raising and stating the standards of what our spouse should be and do because of this intense need to be the anti-thesis to what we grew up with. Now when the realities of these standards become unachievable we suffer the meltdowns in our ability to accept and communicate what is really achievable. This baggage is real and quite unfortunate for most individuals who grew up without having resolved what makes a relationship a thriving one more especially for individuals who are yet to forgive their parents or at the very least understand that their parents did the best they could with what they knew. Sometimes even this expectation is in form of unconsciously or actually wanting our partner to be or act like a parent we loved deeply or loathed passionately. This baggage appears not as bad as the above. Unresolved issues like this put unrealistic pressures on partners, creating a silent resentment when this is not met, an implosion of great magnitude soon to come to fore, if care and caution is not taken.
While it is better to seek a very successful relationship devoid of any form of abuse – active or of a passive kind; it is also very important not to take the demons of your childhood exposure or experiences into your present relationship. It all still boils down to understanding and mastering the self first before seeking a bond. The number one lesson for this is to confront, accept and if necessary, forgive your past. The next step is to visualize what works for you as an individual, and seeking that which you are. It is not about your parents even though you are partly a product of your experience with and modeling of them. You really can be better but not by rejecting what these exposures has taught you in terms of positive lessons and learnings.
We attract what we become or what we are ready for. There are no perfect couple (it may sound like a cliché but that is the absolute truth). You have to be ready to work at it every day. One famous author writes: “marriage is like a farm, you have to be ready to till your land everyday and be ready for the harvest as much as the weather challenges. Be sure you are ready to be the farmer or do not become one”. Many go into relationships with unrealistic expectations or unresolved childhood issues, you will be leaving your farm to unexpected elements of weather, pests and predators and have very little left to harvest. The clarity with which we build ourselves and our life goals determines how successful our relationships are going to be, especially that of the “forever” kind. The great thing about knowing this is you don’t have to go through the discovery/unraveling and coming to clarity alone. There are professionals primed and equipped to help you come to clarity with where you are and where you want or should be in your life and in your relationship. Your only job is to muster the courage to seek help.
The next part in this series talks about the Serial “Partner – seeking” and the elusive “Perfect One.”
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INNOCENT USAR is a Lifestyle Coach, Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro – Linguistics Programming. He travels the length and breathe of Nigeria helping individuals, organisations and people of faith to easily break away from fearful as well as other acquired self – limiting patterns
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