My brothers and I often say we wouldn’t know how to have a healthy relationship if it hadn’t been for our parents. I was lucky to grow up in a family where my parents loved each other. That didn’t mean they didn’t argue and it didn’t mean they didn’t have their struggles, but every night us children could go to bed knowing that they were going to stick together for good. Now that we’re all grown up, we have chosen partners who support us the way my Dad did for my Mom.
I support my partner the same way my Mom did for my Dad. While I was still dating, I wouldn’t settle for anything less than the love my parents shared. Even on their worst days, they were able to show me what a healthy relationship looked like. Since then I’ve figured out a few key qualities they always portrayed to us and I now hope to exemplify to my children.
Disagreements Were Taken Outside
My parents loved each other but they absolutely drove each other crazy. They are two very different people. My father is deeply emotional and impulsive. My mother is contemplative and hesitant. There were more than a few occasions where they had completely different opinions on how a problem ought to be handled. When this turned out to be the case, they always went into the kitchen. For my brothers and I, that was our cue to quietly play away from that space until my parents came into the living room.
Sometimes it took a few minutes and sometimes we didn’t see them both until the next day, but we knew that once they had had enough time to talk it over together there would be a solution and no hard feelings. Part of what I believe made their “discussions” so effective was in their delivery. My brothers and I were in the very next room. We could have heard what they were saying if we had tried but we never felt the need to listen. My parents always spoke to each other will respect. I never once heard my mother yell at my father or vice versa.
They said exactly what they meant, never blaming the other for the situation they were in or bringing their own emotions into it. Instead, they worked together as partners and that is how the problems got solved. I know now that it isn’t always to easy to address a problem without getting semi-emotional but when I use my parents example I am able to separate my feelings from the truth and together my partner and I find a way solve our problems together.
Hugs and Kisses Were Coodies Free
My parents were never afraid to kiss and hug and we were never embarrassed to see it. For as long as I remember they confidently showed each other affection. They didn’t make out or do anything appropriate but every time they held hands and every time they smiled at one another, I could see the love and trust in their embrace. Now every day I give my partner a hug and a kiss so they never forget how much I love them and my children can see it too.
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