THIS IS A REAL THING. Each generation the same things potentially propagate themselves. In terms of marital relationships, try this one:
“A lot of friction within marriage may be a repeat performance of our parents’ relationships. Watch out for the re-runs!”
~Janvrin & Selleck (italics in original).
Traditions in families run deep as do loyalties and values. Each of these is possibly an advantage of itself, but in a world where ideals clash even ever so slightly, we’re headed for trouble.
At the end of the day this is not about rights and wrongs. It’s about perceptions and values—the more softer targets that are absolutes of nothing. In other words, ‘his way’ or ‘her way’ is neither more right than the other, or simply it’s a case of adopting ‘a way’ i.e. one single way.
This is why it would be best for marital partners to regularly have ‘discussion dates’ where they raise these issues of difference and discuss them toward resolution in a positive, relaxed and emotion-free environment. This should be a separate event to date-night. (I believe every couple should have date-night once a week—a night dedicated to their relationship.)
Whenever we get “stuck” on issues and neither partner is going to budge, how good would it be if each was to ask, ‘Is this a throwback to the way my Mum and Dad did it?’ or ‘Is there something in this about how my family of origin resolved conflict?’—for some families don’t; resolve conflict that is!
The broader concept of the generational curse indicates a snare that affects every single person and relationship on the planet—we’re all wounded souls with hurts taken deep from our families of context. There’s no getting away from it. The best and only thing we can do is use this knowledge:
- Not to hem us in—but to free us;
- To problem solve so as not to repeat the same old mistakes and misfortunes in the next generation—that’s our kids’.
The generational curse will also mean that there’s a good chance you not only picked up some of the great traits in your Mum or Dad, you also picked up some of the not-so-great traits too. Added to this, of course, your relationship may begin at times to resemble theirs. It’s no coincidence!
The issue of “repeats” is a warning sign for us if we’ll be aware for it. Don’t settle for clashes that are inevitable when you bring two slightly opposed familial systems together; it would be like getting two different countries together to live on one patch of land—there are going to be problems unless both get together and work out vibrant plans for collusion and cooperation—targeted at a common goal i.e. harmony.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.