How Did Your Parent’s Marriage Impact Your Marriage?
Whether we like to admit it or not, our parent’s marriage impacted our marriages for good or bad. It’s the greatest model we had in our childhoods of what a marriage should look like. Taking on the good things to our own marriage is good and unlearning the bad things is vital to a healthy marriage. I asked the women in the chat room to share what they had learned from their parent’s marriage and how it impacted them. I won’t share names to protect their privacy.
“I remember my parents hugging each other and give a little kiss when my dad got home from work. Sometimes I would run to them and join in for a group hug. When I got married, I told my husband I wanted our children to see us hug and kiss often, so they would feel safe and secure and know that mom and dad love each other.”
“My mother wasn’t married most of my growing up years. She used men to get what she wanted. I learned that men were not needed or good and only used women (although she did the using too). It made my first marriage not good, because I had no idea how to be a good wife and what not (and my mom convinced me to leave him). This marriage has had a rocky past, and my mom almost convinced me to divorce this husband. Women are the ones who wear the pants, and men should do as we say. But thank goodness, I read Debi’s book and learned from it.”
“My parents always sat down and talked every evening. They always had fun together. They were high school sweethearts and married at 18 and 20 years of age for almost 60 years until my mom passed away.”
“My mom frequently criticized my dad. My dad was lazy. I realized her criticism did nothing but make her look ugly, and he never changed. In my marriage, I choose to discuss rather than criticize (if necessary) but also to build my husband up! He is a different person (in a good way) when his confidence cup is filled up by me.”
“My parents divorced, and I haven’t seen/known my mother since I was under three. I went to live with my aunt and uncle who didn’t have a healthy relationship. All that fed this idea of never wanting a divorce which is good, but my logic, before Christ renewed my mind on this matter, was to never get married hence never get divorced. Had it not been for Christ saving my life and then showing me my error, I would still be fornicating.”
“The toxic behavior I witnessed coming from my mother growing up made me realize I never wanted to be like that. To this day, she still belittles my father, disrespects him, talks over him, silences him, ignores his needs, complains when he spends time with anyone other than herself, punishes him by neglecting her wifely duties….really, the list goes on and on My father is a true saint for remaining with her all these years.
“Observing my mother’s behavior is the reason why I am the way that I am today. That is, I determined early on that I would be different. With the Lord’s help, I have sought to be the very opposite of how she was (and still is) as a wife and mother What the Enemy meant for evil, the Lord has used for good in my own life.”
“My parents never communicated about anything. I struggled for years on how to address issues respectfully in my own marriage. It comes a lot easier now.”
“My mom controlled everything. My parents separated money and everything. My dad worked all the time but was not the main bread winner. My mom, to this day, holds that over my dad. It has made marriage and submitting to my husband extremely difficult. I do not know how to communicate with my spouse as my parents never talked; they only fought. I will say my mom had read Debi Pearl’s book and is trying so hard to be a better helpmeet! I am proud of her, but wish I had learned when I was a child.”
“My dad taught me how a husband is to love his wife. He also taught me that a man wants his wife to only have thoughts of him, not some past lovers! A woman who only has a desire for him alone. My mother taught me how to be a Godly wife, keeper of our home, a mother, and a grandmother! And, together they taught me to look to the LORD and trust and love him!”
“When my parents would argue, it was usually some kind of reading between the lines and jumping to conclusions that led to poor communication and talking past one another. I often ended up as peacemaker, trying to interpret for both of them, so they could resolve the issue. It taught me not to jump to conclusions or take offense before I have all the information, but rather to listen and understand first.”
“My parents were not married and fought about EVERYTHING. They didn’t agree on anything, ever and it even got violent many times. I felt very unsafe, and my life wasn’t stable. In marriage, I try to never pursue an argument because God calls me not to, but also because I would be contributing to making my children feel unsafe and sad. They love their father, and I love my husband.”
“Maybe it is because my parents divorced when I was young, but I remember frequently praying for my husband to always be there for me. I didn’t want someone that traveled a lot for work and would be gone.”
“My mother had two bad marriages, one to my father and another to my stepfather. Both times, she tried to rule the roost. It was so ugly that I determined not to do that in my own marriage, but it WAS what I grew up learning and it was difficult. It took me a LONG time to learn. Both my sisters felt the same way and both struggled as well, one more than the other.”
“My parents were married 20 plus years when I was born as the youngest of eight. They were an exceptional team. Despite my dad only having an eighth grade education and low skilled, low paid factory jobs, my parents were millionaires when they died. They both were excellent at pinching pennies, investing in the future, and working together as a team. It taught me the amazing things that can be accomplished in a lifetime by a married couple that works together and not against one another. At least seven of the eight children are committed Christians.”
Do you realize how much easier it will be for your daughter to be a godly, submissive wife to her future husband IF you model it to her while she is growing up? It will be a HUGE advantage to her in marriage and in life. It’s a blessing that you give her.
Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
7 thoughts on “How Did Your Parent’s Marriage Impact Your Marriage?”
Definitely our parent’s marriage does influence our own for good or ill. A point worth remembering in setting an example for our own children.
My own parents was on the whole a good example although as a couple they are now much more traditionalist than they were when I was growing up.
my parents marriage: dad silent and often working or not at home, mom yelling, silent treatment, throwing things when they would argue (we kids would hear this late at night and it terrified me), driving off in a rage (sometimes with us in the car!), slamming cabinets when angry, etc. Both of them married very young and immature and selfish. My early adulthood was super messed up as a result of this and other bad influences. My marriage is not this way at all — while my husband and I are far from perfect, we try to model everything our parents were (for the good) and weren’t (for the bad) to our children. That is the great thing about having God in your life; you can learn Holy perspective on life’s ups and downs and learn from it all!
I basically had two child hoods. As a young kid my mom worked. Our house was a mess, we ate out all the time, I spent most days in latchkey or home alone, they constantly fought, I still remember finding out that my dad spent an extra hour after work in a parking lot to not be home. When she retired the house was clean, they stopped fighting, we ate at home and so much other good came fron it. It made me vow to be a SAHM and do everything to make my husband want to be home with us not sitting in a parking lot.
Amen! I have a little almost 4 month old daughter, and I am so excited to teach her biblical womanhood! But I know it will be difficult too. Growing up my Mom taught me well, but my Dad was verbally abusive at times, especially towards my Mom, and he had anger issues. So I always prayed for my future husband, that God would give me a man who truly loved me and is a child of God.. And God answered that prayer!! Praise the Lord! So we need to learn, not from experience, but from the word of God and fellow Christians, how to have a functioning godly marriage and pass the heritage on to our children. We do have a good marriage, for which I am so grateful!
My married parents were not warm towards each other until my mother’s cancer diagnosis, by which point I was an adult. My Mothers’ parents were never affectionate in any way towards each other. I hate being kissed or hugged as a greeting by anyone except a very select few, as a consequence I usually proffer a handshake before the other person has a chance to get close. Consequently, I struggled with relationships and boundaries which is not helped by ASD.
I learned how to be more comfortable with affection and touch through watching my in-laws and knowing that they had been together since their early 20s they must be getting something right. My in-laws have been together for 52 years in September got a civil partnership last year, and still say ‘I love you’, something I never heard from my own parents either between themselves or towards me.
Luckily now I am able to catch up on the hugs I missed out on as a child and have someone who can even calm and reassure me whilst I am asleep and having nightmares.
You really have some amazing ladies in your chat room. I hope they know how much their comments are appreciated, including by husbands like myself.
My parents have been incredible role models for my wife and I. My wife’s parents remain married, but have not been a good role model for marriage or Christianity, sadly. However, my folks have encouraged my wife in many ways, especially in her striving to honor God. They have shown her grace, encouragement, support, and love. They talk to them more than they do me and it is a great blessing to me. I hope those who are parents or grandparents never underestimate how important their interactions are with their daughter-in-laws.
I agree that childhood is a major influence on who we are and who we become but people can change and don’t have to be a slave to their past. I was born in 1948 into quite a well to do family and had a very happy childhood, although an only child. My parents were both deeply religious and my mother believed passionately that her role was to be “a keeper of the home” and to be obedient to my father for the Bible commands that,
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour”. Ephesians 5:22-33.
My mother always dressed well and was feminine and deferred to my father in all things. Likewise, he praised her appearance and homemaking skills. Naturally when I married, I wished for the same sort of relationship. It didn’t happen with my first wife and it nearly didn’t with my second wife, Charlotte, who is some 23 years younger than me. By contrast to me she had grown up in a working-class household, her mother and father had both worked, she had two older brothers, she was spoilt, she was used to getting her own way and was something of a bully at school. When we first married life was very difficult as she would not accept my authority but then my parents emigrated and gifted me their house and business (though they received the proceeds from the sale of our London house in return) and my wife and I moved back to the family home. There things changed. Through Bible lessons she finally saw the Truth of the Scriptures and once we had our first child in 1998, she very much enjoyed the role of housewife and mother – I always feel God and motherhood changed her. Now, at nearly 50, she is a totally different woman from the spoilt 23-year-old I married for now she is kind, caring, loving, obedient, submissive and a True Believer. She often admits to me she is so happy that she married me and found God for it has made her life complete and has embroidered the following and framed it by our bed.
To be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled. Titus 2:5