Were your mom and dad happily married? Is your marriage like theirs was?
If you’re having marriage problems, the chances are good that your parents struggled in their marriage too. Research shows that if your parents divorced, then your marriage is more likely to end in divorce as well.
Freud documented well the impact that heredity and upbringing has on a person’s fate. We learn “tapes” early-on that we play again and again oblivious to how they control (and destroy) our lives. But does that mean the destiny of your marriage was determined years ago? Does that mean your fate was sealed by your genes and your childhood?
There is no doubt that you have deeply rooted relationship instincts. But those instincts do NOT have you.
Your past constantly vies for control of your future, but at the end of the day YOU have a CHOICE. Your domain is this moment, and every moment, when you can DECIDE to write a new script. At any time, in every time, you can decide to be the master of your destiny; rather than a victim to your past.
This, by the way, is the real value in understanding your past and your childhood roots. So that you can consciously REJECT what you know doesn’t work and replace old habits with new ways.
This, of course, is no simple task. Not only because it’s hard to break old habits and learn new ways, but also because most people are more comfortable doing what’s familiar yet destructive rather than what’s constructive but unfamiliar. In other words, most people are happier doing what they know doesn’t work than they are working on something that they don’t know.
But that’s what it takes to be a “transition person.” A transition person is someone who breaks free from unhealthy relationship patterns that have been in their family for generations.
You are by no means a product solely of your heredity or environment. There is a third element: YOUR DECISION. And that trumps ALL past events.
By the way, this, in my opinion, is the real meaning of marriage education…educating someone to acquire the ability to CHOOSE their behavior.
A successful marriage is not something that just happens; you have to craft it. It’s a result of deliberate and conscience decisions to make a new way in your relationship.
Author & Founder of Marriage Fitness