A Personal Legacy From Our Parents
A friend is working on his marriage, and I wish him the best. I’m also relieved that it isn’t my marriage. Thinking about it, it could have been my marriage, and probably yours too. My parents generation brought in the explosion of divorce. Our parents didn’t give us good examples to follow. That is true for most of us, and the few good examples I’ve seen certainly helped us solve our personal problems. I know they helped me. Bad examples certainly remind us what not to do, usually in hindsight after we’ve done it.
Doing your marriage homework isn’t easy or quick, though I’ve found it rewarding. Without good role models, we have to reinvent interpersonal problem solving for ourselves. In my case, my parents hid their problems or never worked through them at all. I didn’t see strong emotions with a happy ending. Most of us don’t live near our parents any longer so they are not there to help us now. My parents didn’t realize the legacy their problems with broken marriages would leave for my generation. Yes, we are on our own.
I thought I’d left my families problems behind. I didn’t recognize the price I would pay for emotional independence. It isn’t uncommon for families to live all across the US. I don’t expect to live near my children. I hope I’ve left my children better examples than I saw.
I wish my friend well and hope he and his wife find a couple to help them.