Loving in parents’ shadow

Posted by James, 24 Sep 09

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Ever found yourself doing the very things your mother or father did – even those things you promised yourself that you would never ever do?

In her book “Women Who Love Too Much”, Robin Norwood argues that human beings learn how to love or accept love by observing their parents of the same sex. We learn from their feelings and actions what it means to be a man or woman.

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In an interview with Oprah, R and B singer Mary J. Blige said she grew up in a home of loud and bitter women, who would never stop to a man chastisement. Here is what she told Oprah:

Before I dropped out of high school, the principal once asked me why I'd gotten in trouble. I said, "Because I don't take no shit." One night earlier, I'd heard my mother say that very sentence—and it was that attitude that later destroyed me. I always felt I had something to prove—because "Mary J. Blige don't take no shit." – Oprah Talks to Mary J. Blige

She revealed that she followed suit which landed her in bad relationships that ‘allowed’ her to be bitter and loud – until of course she realized what it was doing to her and changed her outlook on men and life.

If mummy took in as much sh** and abuse from daddy, most women find themselves doing the same thing. Women consciously learn from their mothers how they ought to be treated or treat men in their lives. This also happens to men. A friend of mine used to complain about his father beating up his mummy and he really hated it. Irony is, he ended up doing the same to his girlfriends.

One lady lost all respect in her mother and promised herself never to take sh** from a man. But when she got to her 20s, the only men she dated were abusive to her either emotionally or verbally. She nearly got married to a man who was the exact copy of her father. She got beat up by the guy but surprisingly that was the longest relationship she has ever had.

Even when we choose to do the opposite of what our parents did, sometimes it ends in heartache because we try too much not to be like them and end up losing ourselves while at it.

If someone grows up in a family where the parents were alcoholics or never there and is forced to shoulder the responsibility of taking care of the other siblings, that person is likely to fall for partners who never grow up; partners who need constant care. And if it’s a home filled with suspicion of infidelity, the person may have trust issues, no matter how many faithful people he or she meets along the way.

Take a reflective look on your life coz where you come from will point you to what you are today. Don’t let the ordeals of your childhood define who you become. Seek help and deal with the past coz it might cost you finding true love and happiness.

6 responses to "Loving in parents’ shadow"

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  1.   fkoi says:
    Posted: 14 Jul 10

    My parents loved each other right up to the time my Dad passed over five years ago. Nearly 57 years of marriage with 6 kids to add to the mix. They were not perfect parents but they were certainly loving and providing. I am a little late to hope to equal their record but they effort and love they put into their marriage is a "shadow" in which I would be happy to love.

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  2.   triccinicci says:
    Posted: 27 Sep 09

    Yay! A real topic we can grow from. I commend the writer. He was on point, supported his topic and enabled the reader to follow through in introspection. This is a wonderful way to encourage us to grow from each other. Hurrah for him, it is true writing! I hope to read more like this an participate in the ensuing discussion. Thanks James!

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  3.   meisha81 says:
    Posted: 27 Sep 09

    I've been sitting here for a min trying to figure out what to write on this particular subject. I have 2 wonderful parents as well, they are divorced. Growing up, I watched how my parents interacted with each other. I too rarely seen them argue. To me, they seem to be happy as the most part, or so I thought. My Dad ended up having an affair with another woman, hence the divorce. :( What I think that I'm tying to say is that my Dad was a good provider for us financially, unfortunately he wasn't home too much; he was out working hard to provide for us & trying to make a name for himself in his career in the IT/Computer Engineering business. I love my Dad dearly though I do not agree with some of the actions that he has done over the years. My Mother, God Bless her, has been through a lot. Her upbringing wasn't the best, but she always told us girls that when she had her children, she would do things differently from what her Mom has done. I think that with her strength, it has helped us to become like her in some ways. Even though she's been through a lot, she still finds ways to persevere & keep moving forward. I think I do have some of my parents characteristics, my Mother's strong will despite life's detours, good or bad. I have my Dad's tendency to be serious, at times little to no patience (good thing to put on a dating site right? LOL!) but can crack a joke & tell a funny story-actually that's both parents on the sense of humor part. Sometimes, my Mother calls my Father & I the Moody Mary Crew-I think that has something to do with the both of us being Tauruses... :) To get to the point, we all have some type of background stories in regards to our upbringings, some Mary Sunshine, others not. It's up to us as individuals to determine how we are going to live our lives as we become adults. What we have to do is take from the past & try to figure out how not to repeat the mistakes in the future with our relationships. Coming from a divorce household, it's hard to sometimes try to open up to people because you feel that some people have a hidden agenda. But I also have to remind myself that in life, you have to take risks; no matter what the outcome is. People can not hold others responsible for mistakes made in the past-this is why some relationships fail.

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  4.   Fire321 says:
    Posted: 26 Sep 09

    Well, our parents are our first teachers. I'm fortunate in the sense that I had a wonderful father and mother. As much as my father loved to complain, I rarely saw him or my mother arguing. I'm sure they had their fair share of problems but they tried to keep their personal issues amongst themselves and away from us. I do see traits of both of my parents in me. I can be much like my father, too aggressive at times and very loving/nuturing like my mother. I think they had a healthy balance and I think that rubbed off on 6 out of their 7 children. I wouldn't trade the parents I had for nothing in the world. My heart goes out to those who had rough upbringings but it takes a lot of strength and personal growth to not let the hardships you faced growing up, mold you into something you don't want to be.

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  5.   Kade56 says:
    Posted: 25 Sep 09

    I'm from the Caribbean and growing up,my eyes have seen and my ears have heard and more than 95% of the situations weren't positive ones but those circumstances has not define the person I am today, The one quality I admired about my mom,which I've acquired, is her adamancy, in the sense of, "a woman in a mans world" logic. She's very defensive and aggresive. I've seen her fight with her boyfriend. He has cheated on her several times and up to this day, they are still together. She has yelled at my brother and I but fortunately, That has not put an effect on me,in a negative way. It's her mistake and bad choices that makes me so vigilant. I'm the 360 opposite of her. And as for my dad-he was never apart of my life. To come to an conclusion james, it's the choices the kids will make that will define their outcome in life. There's no such thing as "If mom and dad do it, then I can do it" unless they are otherwise positive attributes. An average functional human being knows the difference between right and wrong, negative and positive. Take Care Kade56

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  6.   Ichibod says:
    Posted: 25 Sep 09

    Good for you, James. Finally a decent topic to discuss. Sometimes, it's funny to see my brother and I do things or say things like our dad and mom. Other times, it isn't. I had to tell my ex-girlfriend a lot, "I'm sorry. That's just my mom talking." As I get older, I've been seeing myself do more and more stuff like my dad. He made better decisions, career and otherwise, but I believe I got my logic and reasoning from him. I don't recall my parents having many people over to our house growing up, which is why I think I'm kind of introverted now. When I invite people over to my place, I tend to be overprotective of my environment. Overall, as far as my parents go, I accept them both for how wonderful and at the same time how crazy they are, and I love how they have influenced my life.

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