Last update: Augusts 16, 2018
Does the parents' relationship really have as much impact, as some argue, on their children's future relationships? Experience tells us yes. Science tells us that if the parental relationship is positive, children are more likely to have healthy relationships. The opposite would not be true. However, we are talking about averages and there can always be exceptions.
We must think that the first model of romantic relationship and coexistence with which children are in contact is that of their parents or the couple they live with. In this sense, the environment in which they grow has great influence on the little ones of the house. What they see also affects them and can condition or influence some of their actions many years later.
Sometimes we hear phrases like: “They are too small, they don't realize anything”. But this is not the case. Babies absorb everything, so the parents' relationship will affect their future relationships.
The parental relationship is present in our relationships
The relationship of the parents can be present in their sentimental stories even without realizing it. It can be, for example, one of the causes that makes us always choose as partners people who are not good for us. Our parents' relationship may have been dominated by ups and downs, so we may tend to look for a person who gives us stability, especially when what we need for our way of being is a very dynamic person.
Several particularly relevant circumstances may also have arisen. We refer to a great distrust, a very marked dependence, constant infidelity and even abuse. Let's take an example with which to get an idea of the degree of influence of the parents' relationship on the choice of partner.
Laura was not yet 30 years old. She had several relationships behind her, but none had gone well. He didn't know what was going on. Sometimes her partners had been unfaithful to her, other times they had shown incredible attachment to her mother. Laura then decided to go to a psychologist to tell him her story. The latter asked her to tell him about her relationship of her parents, which in fact had been dramatic. The father mistreated his mother, manipulated her, and at the same time had been unfaithful to her on several occasions ... The mother remained submissive, was unable to express her feelings and resisted because she said she felt love, but in reality she suffered of emotional dependence. The mother often felt alone and abandoned. Not only from her partner, but also from her own family pushing her to resist rather than end the relationship.
Laura's story had only two possible paths: one was to be addicted and to seek a challenging relationship, the other was to escape from demanding relationships and be very independent. Laura, unconsciously, tended to the former.
Laura has never been a submissive woman, there has never been abuse in her relationships. She did everything she hadn't seen in her parents' relationship: she communicated a lot with her partners, she was respected, she didn't stay with anyone who tried to subdue her ... However, his partners were sometimes submissive, lied to, and didn't communicate openly.
Laura's choice of partner was closely related to her mother. Although she believed she was building healthy relationships, not like that of her parents, the root of her problem was not yet visible to her. It didn't take her long to discover it.
Underlying Laura's relationships was a lack of commitment: she was with people who did not really commit to her or who were unfaithful to her or who were very attached to their mothers. Therefore she remained in second place. As had happened to her mother.
Choosing a partner without being conditioned
After learning about Laura's story, the question that worries us is the following: Can we choose a partner without being conditioned by our parents' relationship? The answer is yes, but for this we must understand what is happening, we must observe the pattern that repeats itself with our partners.
If we find it difficult to find the reason that may be implicit in any relationship, we can turn to a psychologist who specializes in relationships. It will be of great help to us, in addition to providing us with tools to increase our self-esteem and resolve certain insecurities, it will help us see the situation from a different perspective. In this way we will try to enrich ourselves with the person we choose for life and not fill our needs or escape our ghosts.
Most importantly, a psychologist will help us understand how we started a relationship. because in this aspect the old behavior patterns reside. Do we tend to have high expectations? Do we go blind in the infatuation stage? Do we delude ourselves too quickly?
The key to all our relationships is how they start them. We need to pay close attention to it.
After analyzing the situation and reflecting on these points, once we know the shape of the stone, it will be more difficult to trip over it. If we open our eyes, we will discard relationships that are not for us right from the start, before they harm us. At the same time, identifying what and how we are conditioned by unconscious patterns (not just in relationships) will give us the opportunity to make freer and more accurate choices.