Relationship advice: Dysfunctional Family Ruined Me For Love!
Growing up in a dysfunctional family can give you some distorted views of love and relationships. Impressionable children learn from what they’re exposed to, and if it’s not a healthy home life, it can definitely affect the choices you make later in life. You may grow into adulthood with issues that affect your choices in partners. Living out your parent’s unhealthy habits may find you with a string of broken relationships or failed marriages without realizing why it’s happening. You may just feel like you’re not meant to be happy , or that your dysfunctional family ruined you for love.Maybe you even feel like you don’t deserve love. Nothing can be further from the truth.
Children that live in dysfunctional households learn to deal with the unknown, sometimes scary things around them. If there is addiction, alcoholism, verbal abuse or violence, coping mechanisms and hypervigilance become the norm. Even very young children learn to “read” the room when they come in to gauge the atmosphere and moods of the people in it. They learn from a very young age to tread lightly, to walk on eggshells so as not to draw attention to themselves or to make the adults in the home upset. It can get to the point where the children need to parent their own parents.
Suspicion becomes your mode of approach. There have been so many unkept promises and unfulfilled wishes that you may grow to be a suspicious person. When you are dating or in a new relationship, there’s a nagging doubt that says you don’t deserve to be happy or this person is not who they appear to be. Trust issues are common in adults who come from dysfunctional families. When you are constantly questioning whether what your partner is telling you is true or whether their feelings are genuine; it can be a burden on the relationship. Many breakups occur because of trust issues.
Children of dysfunctional families can grow up to be independent and self-sufficient in many cases because they’ve been left on their own to fend for themselves . This creates an adult who won’t allow themselves to depend on anyone, trust anyone or leave themselves vulnerable to being hurt or disappointed. While this can be a positive in workplace relationships, when it comes to interpersonal interactions, it’s a mess. The flip side of this is where adults model the behaviors they grew up with and repeat those dysfunctional patterns in their own relationships because that’s all they know.
If you see yourself in these descriptions, you can change it. This isn’t a life sentence. You can take what mistakes were made in your parent’s relationship with each other and their parenting of you and learn from it and turn it into something positive for your future love relationships. You don’t need to repeat those patterns of dysfunction.Get some help from a professional who can help counsel you on how to break the cycle of dysfunction and learn what healthy relationships are about. You can learn to see yourself as worthy of loving and being loved and create a happy healthy relationship. You deserve the best in life, you just have to learn how to see that. There is someone out there that will love you for who you are and love you passionately and authentically. Someone you can be satisfied with and able to have a healthy and loving relationship of your own.
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Stuart Fensterheim LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters.
His weekend workshop, Two Days: Seven Conversations has become a popular venue for many to set off on their journey of connectedness. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel.
Stuart practices in Scottsdale, Arizona, where he lives with his loving wife of many years, and their therapy dog, Ollie.