Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Parent's Marriage...

While researching for Generation NeXt Marriage, I sent out a ton of questionnaires on different topics related to marriage...

Here is some of the feedback I received about our parent's marriages:

My parents have always been a positive role model because they currently have been married for 32 years. For the most part their marriage was good, everyone has their ups and downs especially over 32 years!!

My parent's marriage was short and full of heartache. My father was continually unfaithful and didn't even try to hide it. After bearing five children (all girls), my mother finally got fed up and they divorced. As I grew, I never had an example of what a marriage should look like. I never knew submission. I never knew sacrificial love. I never accepted the need and role of a man in my life. Our them song growing up was "I am Woman, Hear Me Roar". Who needs a man!?! It took over 10 years of my marriage to learn submission and sacrifice. For years I just did things my way and in the process, I crushed my husband's spirit and insulted his manhood. As he withdrew I got more controlling. Today, I still struggle with our roles in the marriage and with bitterness when I don't get my way.

My parents' marriage had a positive impact on mine. They work together as a team and provided an example of stick-to-it-iveness that many of our generation didn't get to see.

I never had a good model, my father was career navy and my mother lived for her children. My father was out to sea for 6 months at a time, and when he was home, he drank a lot and my parents fought constantly. The kids were always in the middle of it, and they blamed each other repeatedly in front of us. They did the best they knew how to do, but it wasn't ideal. My husband's parents both drank, and he never knew his biological father. They had a very rocky relationship as well. We found that neither one of us had a blueprint for a healthy marriage...we kind of had to make it up as we went along.

My parents' marriage wasn't that great when I was growing up. They separated several times and things were often ugly. They worked through their problems though and are now happily married. Their example taught me many things, most importantly that marriage takes a lot of work. Unfortunately (and actually fortunately too), it has made me set very, very high (and often unrealistic) expectations for my own marriage. My poor husband is a real trooper though and he gives and gives.

My parents were high school sweethearts and have been married for over forty years. My friends used to giggle when they saw Mom and Dad holding hands. “Your parents are so cute!” Not that they didn’t have their tense moments. They argued and still do occasionally. For some reason their little “fights” never scared me as a child because I knew they loved each other. They taught me a great deal about the importance of affection and knowing how to choose your battles.

I think I just expected to have a relationship like the one they had—or better. I never considered how much different personalities play into a marriage relationship and I am very different from both my parents. I also had another lesson to learn—that my husband had his own experiences and expectations and that that would also have an affect.

What about you...what did you learn from your parents' marriage?

Read more here!


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