Bloody Good Chap and I started out with very different views of relationships.
My parents split up when I was a wee one, (might I add that it was a very good thing for everyone involved!), so I find myself a bit blasé about seriously long term relationships – I think it’s possible, but not massively likely. It doesn’t bother me, I just go by a more casual view of the world – people come together, learn together, and then sometimes they move on,
no big deal.
That’s how I’ve always seen it. I’ve always been fairly unattached to the idea of having one person forever and ever, and not particularly drawn to marriage. That’s not to say I don’t want a forever relationship with the right person, it just means I’m more undecided (possibly skeptical) about the whole thing.
Many of my friend’s parents are also divorced, and as far as I know, many of them share the same views as me – they’re not so set on the idea of forever-love.
Sure if they find it, they’re stoked, but they’re not hanging their hopes on it.
Whereas people like Bloody Good Chap and a few of my clients and friends whose parents have stayed together in a loving marriage, they tend to be more inclined to believe in the romantic notion of meeting the one and staying together forever. They often can’t quite understand the more casual viewpoint of love and long-term. And they tend to put in a lot of work to keep a relationship stable, rather than just cutting loose at the first sign of trouble.
People whose parents stayed together in a non-loving marriage tend not to have this romantic view,
but I’ve not done so much enquiry into this yet as it’s less common among people I know. My hypothesis would be that they end up recreating a relationship in their later life where they fight with their partner but still somehow keep the marriage/ relationship together. But that’s just a theory, I really have no idea, and of course we can’t generalise people into such distinct categories.
Though I do like to generalise!
But there’s definitely a pattern going on –
the way we view relationships seems to be heavily based on the relationship of our parents. I know there’s lots of theories on this, but I can only comment on my own experience.
It’s very useful to know this if you and your partner have differing viewpoints on the matter.
My blasé standpoint has been known to hurt guys I’ve dated who have a more solid notion of long-term relationships, whereas I can sometimes be freaked out by talk of ‘forever’. It’s not a big deal, it’s just really helpful to know the basis of our differing viewpoints so that we can be more understanding of where each other is coming from without taking it personally.
The point is, sometimes it’s helpful to be aware of how experiences in your younger life are shaping your behaviours and beliefs in the present.
Because when you are aware it’s happening, you can choose to do something about it.
When you can see your blind-spots,
you’re less likely to keep crashing.
“Understanding is the first step to acceptance, and only with acceptance can there be recovery.”
– who knew, J.K. Rowling said that. Was Harry an undercover alcoholic?