After 12 years of marriage my wife and I are both realizing the impact our marriage can have on other people. Early on, we were heavily focused on just making it. Being aware of the divorce statistics, we had hope that we wouldn’t become one of them. Although it seemed the chips were stacked against us when you hear the way people talk about marriage.
Now, we are entering a stage in marriage that is not based just on survival. Our relationship has an impact on other people. And the most obvious and immediate people it has an impact on are our kids. They see and hear almost everything that happens in our relationship. And everything they see and hear is shaping and molding them for future relationships.
The author of this YourTango.com article shared how the nagging of her mother has crippled her when it comes to communication in her marriage. Years and years of experiencing, receiving, and witnessing her mother’s form of communication, nagging, caused her to do the opposite. She is now so far to the left that she rarely expressed how she felt because she was fearful of a confrontation resulting.
Her story may be one of the more extreme examples of how our relationships impact our kids, but it happens in many not-so-obvious areas. Here are 7 ways your marriage can influence your kids’ future relationships.
7 Ways Your Relationship Can Hurt Your Kids 1 of 8
Hiding Your Problems 2 of 8
Our kids know exactly when my wife and I are having problems, no matter how much or little we say. We may think because we aren't speaking about it, they didn't see us argue, or we've acted like it was all good they don't know. But they do. When you don't acknowledge problems in your family, your kids will not see how to deal with them. So, they'll be left to figure this out on their own when they are older and experience problems.
Yelling or Screaming with Your Partner 3 of 8
Kids throw temper tantrums. And so do parents. Parents yell, scream, sometimes throw things, sometimes hit things or others. The extreme opposite of not addressing your problems with, or, in front of your kids is having yelling and screaming matches. Or worse, physical altercations. This might cause your kids to do the same, or go just the opposite and be so passive that they never express themselves.
Not Prioritizing Your Spouse 4 of 8
This is a tough one for many parents, me included. Sometimes we revolve our entire existence around them. We prioritize our lives and our relationships around our kids. Our kids are important and should be treated as such, but if your kids come before your marriage, then your kids may not respect your relationship. When you make your spouse a priority, your kids will recognize it and understand their boundaries. They won't feel less loved because when your relationship is filled with love, you can both give more to your kids.
Avoiding Money Talk 5 of 8
How you handle money is an obvious way your kids' futures can be hurt. First, if you mess up the money then you will not be able to provide as well for them. But even more so is having discussions about money. Most of us adults who messed up our money when we finally got some, did so because we had no knowledge of how to handle our money. Even if you have a lot to learn, opening the conversation will give your kids a level of comfort of discussing, and hopefully learning, how to make it work for them, not the other way around.
Disrespecting One Another 6 of 8
You are your kids' first and most important teacher. But the way they learn the most from you is by watching. So, if they see you and your spouse disrespecting each other, this will lead them to believe this is the way you interact with people. Not only will that be a recipe for disaster if they get married in the future, but it could impact the way the treat all of their relationships, romantic and just friendly.
Not Sharing Responsibility Equally 7 of 8
Does one person in your relationship do everything? While the other just sits back and doesn't do much? If you take a more traditional approach to roles in your relationship, your kids may not always see it the way you see it. Relationships are about being selfless and meeting one another's needs. Even if you and your spouse have taken on traditional roles, try to stretch yourselves a little, or at least discuss why you do it that way with your kids.
Showing Too Much or Too Little Affection 8 of 8
I don't remember seeing my parents be affectionate in front of us as kids very often. I, on the other hand, am very affectionate with my wife in front of my kids. We kiss, we hug, we grab, and we just love on each other. Kids need to see that so they know what is appropriate and not appropriate. But they also don't need to see it everything. A good balance is great, and will set the table for them future relationships.
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