I am not saying that the lady you marry will turn out to be exactly like her mother, or that the man will be exactly like his father. I am saying that you are both greatly influenced by your parents. An apple does not fall far from the tree!
If he has a father who is controlling and verbally abusive, don’t be surprised if in ten years, he has similar traits; some of those traits gain full expression later in life. To some degree, we are all products of our environment.
Research shows that abusive men were almost always abused as children.
A lady who disagreed with this perspective and felt it was a myth once asked me, “But can’t people learn from their parents’ poor example and change their own behaviour”? The answer is YES, and the important word is “LEARN”. If the son of an abuser does not take specific steps to understand abuse; why his father became an abuser, and what he needs to do to break the pattern, then he’s likely to repeat it.
If you’re in a dating relationship and either of you has a parent with a destructive lifestyle, the responsible action is to deal with it by reading books, talking to a counsellor or an accountability partner and ensure you discuss your learnings with your fiance! Don’t sweep these issues under the carpet! They’ll come back bigger to haunt you!
On a lighter note, talking about the like father/mother syndrome, take a look at the physical appearance of your same sex parent and you are likely looking at yourself twenty years from now. If the father is balding, the son may well look the same in twenty years . If the mother is active and energetic, that’s how the daughter will be.
Whether we are looking at the positive or negative characteristics, most of us are far more like our parents than we realize. I also discovered that we unconsciously take on characteristics we condemn the most about our parents! It’s ironical! Communication patterns are another area in which we tend to be like our parents.
Some of us grew up in families where the communication patterns were unhealthy; but because that’s where we grew up, we never saw anything wrong with it. We simply adopted it because our parents usually greatly influence us. It could take an external, objective person to point the issue out to us.
The good news is that these communication patterns can be changed, and the time to make the change is while you’re dating!
Don’t just visit your parents-in-law to-be as ‘routine’ or to mark register; closely observe their behaviour, values and how they relate to each other. This is the model that has greatly influenced the person you are dating. If you observe things that trouble you, discuss them! If your concerns are serious, you need to discuss what PRACTICAL steps will be taken to make sure that the “Like mother, like daughter, and “Like father, like son” saying will not become a reality in your relationship.
Stay tuned for more things i wish i knew…….}