“Each generation will reap what the former generation has sown.” —Chinese Proverb

What you observed in your parents marriage growing up has an impact on how you show up in your marriage.

As a child you watched your parents and other marriages around you and begin to internalize how you will or will not do marriage when you grow up.

You make vows such as…

  • “I’ll never be like my mother or my father.”
  • “I’m never going to do that in my marriage.”

And then it happens.

You get into an argument and walk away, just like your mom would do.

Financial problems arise and you don’t talk about it, just like your dad.

Kids experience a let down and you hide the truth, the way both your parents did with you.

Right now you may find yourself in a place where these situations and others are happening between you and your spouse.

Parents, even the most dysfunctional ones,  give us a lot of great information on what to do or what not do in marriage.

The challenge comes when you don’t just adopt the positive parenting behaviors, you also take on the ineffective or negative parenting behaviors they had.

These may include:

  • Not having a conversation because you only saw your parents scream at each other.
  • Erupting in anger because you don’t know what to do with all of those feelings that rise up inside of you.
  • Withholding affection or sex because you saw it used as a weapon in marriage.
  • Taking care of all of the material needs and ignoring the physical needs of your spouse because you never saw affection modeled.
  • Being secretive about money because your parents hid purchases on credit cards or other places.
  • Calling your spouse names because your parents called each other names.

Just because you saw this, just because these seeds were planted in you, doesn’t mean that you have to let them grow and take over your marriage.

You can choose to do marriage differently than the model you received, the model that you grew up with but it takes action on your part.

In this week’s show Tony and Alisa talk about how to break free of those negative parenting behaviors that have held you back from having the extraordinary marriage you desire.

Connect Like You Did When You First Met: 101 Proven Questions for Couples

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