I was living with Essy and David in Malawi, and we used to have conversations about many things.
I remember one day we were talking about things they have learned about life and marriage, when Essy said something along the lines of, ‘ there is a way your family dynamics, your childhood and the way you saw your parents relate that sometimes you unconsciously bring into your new relationship, and it is important for both of you to recognize that and create new ones’.
Am sure she said it in a different way, but I understood it that way, then I started to notice how this is true in so many relationships and marriages.
The truth is, we learn a lot from our families. We see, we hear, we experience things. Our families are our first teachers of love. We learn how to communicate with others first in our childhood. We pick up love styles, attachment styles and sometimes our parent’s trauma and it becomes normal to us because that’s what we first saw as normal in our childhood.
So Essy talked about how she was giving silent treatments to David, and David was confused at how she can go silent for days and then talk to him as if the silent treatment was a normal thing to do.
If you also grew up in a home where if someone does you wrong, you give them silent treatments and let them figure out what they did and don’t talk about that, it makes sense to keep on doing that because to you that’s how you resolved issues when growing up, but it is really confusing for someone who grew up in a home where they shout for example.
Okay, another example, for people who grew up in an environment with domestic abuse, a spouse shouting at them can trigger them. Because he or she will be alert, and remember everytime his/her mom or dad beat the other after shouting at each other.
Another one, if your dad never listened to your mom, or cheated on your mom, you might have learned that,that is a normal thing in relationships. Or you might have fear of relationships, so you sabotage any serious love interest coming your way so that you don’t have to experience what you saw your mom/dad went through.
I grew up in an environment where there was a lot of nagging. To the extent that now, if you nag me, I won’t do what you are asking of me.
So take growing up from different houses, meeting in your adulthood and bring all these traumas into play, perfect ingredients for conflicts in a relationship.
You maybe wondering how you can solve this now right?
• I suggest therapy
Working through your childhood trauma is good for you to create a healthy relationship with yourself and others.
Let your partner in. Let your guards down.
Be focused on being better for yourself and for him, working hard to make that relationship work together. If he or she points something out, don’t be defensive, understand that you grew up in different houses, talk about each other’s perspectives, bring all of you at the table and see what works and what doesn’t and maybe create new things for you two.
• Observing yourself as well
Asking your self why you feel what you feel, why do you treat your partner a certain way and etc. Being open to learning and unlearning somethings.
I have met people who are like, this is how I am, or this is how I grew up. But again brothers and sisters, if it is affecting your own life and relationships, is it worth it?
It is okay to question, change and adopt new ideas.
As long as it is not sin, It is okay to learn new things.
(This article is as equally helpful on this subject)