We ‘all’ marry our mirrors–someone who reflects how we feel about ourselves (unless it’s an arranged marriage without knowing much about the partner before marriage or reflects the way the parents feel about the quality of their own relationship). You may marry at the level of your self-esteem of the moment. And sometimes you fold inside yourself.
Sometimes seniors decide it’s not worth it any longer to make an effort to make new friends because the former acquaintances in life during youth or middle age betrayed them in some way such as flirting with their spouses, accusing them of doing something wrong, or bullying/controlling them in some way. Experiencing a positive family climate as a teenager may be connected to your relationships later in life. Also check out the new study, “Marriage reduces the risk of heart attack in both men and women and at all ages.”
A marriage or a relationship may have ended because of the feeling that the woman married someone too much like her abusive father or the man married a woman too much like his overbearing, dominating or withdrawn, emotionally uninvolved mother. The reason may reside in how you experienced a positive or negative family life as a teenager.
How did you experience a positive or negative family life as a teenager?
Often such a person invalidates any advice from counselors or advisors by using the same familiar adage, such as “Do you have teenage children?” It’s as if the counselor, coach, or mediator would had to walk in the other person’s shoes before being allowed to give advice that is valid.
The empathy card is one way people use words to ‘invalidate’ the advice of another person, and also is used to invoke empathy as in “walk in my shoes” before you give advice on how to do something whether it’s raising children or handling relationships. Psychologists see it frequently as do people on TV shows that deal with conflict in relationships.
Usually the advice is quickly dismissed and the message unheeded or distracted from reality by the same familiar words to walk in the other person’s shoes before giving advice. An example might be said to someone advising others on marriage who never has been married, or a teacher who is single with no children advising a parent on how to ‘raise’ or ‘rear’ a particular child.
The health of your marriage may depend upon experiencing a positive family life as a teenager, a new study reports
The latest research comes from the Association for Psychological Science and the NIH/National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Did you ever wonder why after years of marriage so many women claim to have married men so similar to their fathers, even though they went to great measures to marry someone of a different occupation, ethnicity, looks, or educational level?
Or men will say their wives turned out to act just like their highly critical mothers after the honeymoon stage ended? Some women in relationships may wonder why the men they men end up abusing them, trying to control their finances, or manipulating them? Your experience of marriage may depend on what you encountered as a teenager when and if you lived at home with your parents. Basically, you marry what’s familiar, even if indirectly and subconsciously.
What’s unfamiliar may not attract your attention. Or you may feel unworthy of the strangely unfamiliar person, or wonder whether that person could be attracted to someone like yourself? In fact you marry at the level of your self-esteem of the moment.
Did you sit in your room during your teenage years listening to your parents loudly argue about one parent’s control or will over another parent’s needs or choices? Did it make you so nervous that you sought relief by turning to a hobby that distracts you from the reality of the moment such as sketching the art forms of the tension you felt, listening to music, or journaling?
Positive family climate as a teenager may be connected to relationships later in life
Experiencing a positive family climate as a teenager may be connected to your relationships later in life, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. While research has demonstrated long-term effects of aggression and divorce across generations, the impact of a positive family climate has received less attention.
Psychological scientist Robert Ackerman of the University of Texas at Dallas and colleagues wanted to examine whether positive interpersonal behaviors in families might also have long-lasting associations with future relationships. The researchers examined longitudinal data from individuals participating in the Iowa Youth and Families Project.
Family interactions were assessed when the participants were in 7th grade. The interactions were coded for five indicators of positive engagement: listener responsiveness, assertiveness, prosocial behavior, effective communication, and warmth-support.
Participants who showed and experienced more positive engagement in their families showed more positive engagement in their marriages 17 years later. Interestingly, their spouses also showed more positive engagement. Participants who came from families that expressed more positive engagement also expressed less hostility toward their spouses, and their spouses displayed less hostile behavior toward them.
Greater levels of positive engagement at the family level in adolescence also predicted more relationship satisfaction for both partners
At a basic level, the findings suggest a link between the family climate in adolescence and marriage quality later in life. The fact that these effects seemed to extend to participants’ spouses was especially interesting.
“Perhaps one of the most striking results from this work was that the quality of one marital partner’s family climate during adolescence was associated with marital outcomes for the other partner,” the researchers observe, according to the January 31, 2013 news release, “A positive family climate in adolescence is linked to marriage quality in adulthood.”
Family dynamics could foster a supportive style of interacting that elicits similar behavior from a spouse down the road; but it could also be that individuals who grew up in families with a positive and warm climate actively seek out partners who provide a similar relationship environment. The researchers speculate that both mechanisms may be at work.
Ultimately, these results are consistent with the Development of Early Adult Romantic Relationships (DEARR) model, suggesting that early family experiences are linked to the development of a person’s relationship style into adulthood. Co-authors on the study include Deborah A. Kashy and M. Brent Donnellan of Michigan State University, Tricia Neppl and Fredrick O. Lorenz of Iowa State University, and Rand D. Conger of the University of California, Davis.
The analyses reported here were supported by Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Grant HD064687. Previous support for the Iowa Youth and Families Project came from multiple sources, including the National Institute of Mental Health (Grants MH00567, MH19734, MH43270, MH59355, MH62989, MH48165, and MH051361), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant DA05347), the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (Grants HD027724, HD051746, and HD047573), the Maternal and Child Health Bureau (Grant MCJ-109572), and the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Adolescent Development Among Youth in High-Risk Settings. The content of this article is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the funding agencies.
Novels (fiction) by Anne Hart on relationships, time travel, suspense, or adventure
Adventures In My Beloved Medieval Alania And BeyondAncient and Medieval Teenage Diaries: Writing, Righting, and Riding for RighteousnessAnne Joan Levine, Private EyeAstronauts and Their CatsAstronauts and Their Cats: At Night, the Space Station Is CaCleopatra’s DaughterCounseling Anarchists: We All Marry Our Mirrors–Someone Who Reflects How We Feel about Ourselves.Folding Inside Ourselvesa Novel of MysteryThe Courage to be Jewish and the Wife of an Arab SheikThe Courage to Be Jewish and the Wife of an Arab Sheik: What’s aCyber Snoop NationThe Date Who Unleashed HellThe DNA Detectives: Working Against TimeDogs with CareersFour Astronauts and a KittenHow to Start Engaging Conversations on Women’s, Men’s, or Family Studies with Wealthy StrangersHow Two Yellow Labs Saved the Space ProgramIs Radical Liberalism or Extreme Conservatism a Character Disorder, Mental Disease, or Publicity Campaign?Khazars Will Rise Again!The Khazars Will Rise Again!: Mystery Tales of the Khazars Middle Eastern Honor Killings in the USAMurder in the Women’s Studies DepartmentNew Afghanistan’s TV AnchorwomanA Perfect Mitzvah Gift BookA Private Eye Called Mama AfricaProblem-Solving and Cat Tales for the HolidaysProper Parenting in Ancient Rome: A Time-Travel Novel of Love as Growth of Consciousness & Peace in the HomeRoman JusticeSacramento LatinaSilent Night Deadly NightVerbal Intercourse
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