Our childhood years are pivotal moments. This is the time when we’re introduced to love and relationships. Typically starting with our parents and trickling down to siblings and other relatives in our family. I learned the effects of childhood relationships during my undergraduate years when I majored in psychology. Interactions with parents and people close to us affect us in so many ways. For example an only child may prefer more personal space than a child who has multiple siblings. A person who raised by a single parent may have different perspectives on relationships compared to someone brought up in a two-parent household. It takes insight to understand that some childhood upbringing may not be the best to carry on into adulthood, especially when it affects future relationships.
Not everyone is taught how to love. Some people go through life not knowing what love truly means.
Generations love differently, just think about it. Babyboomers being born between 1946-1964 and experience different opportunities during childhood. Some went to college to further their education while others worked good-paying jobs right out of high school, working their way up to CEO status or high management positions. Whether they further their education or not, some people in that generation were known to live in households with unstable relationships. Men would marry and have other families causing friction in the household. Wives who invested into their spouse didn’t have the strength or finances to leave due to their husband being the breadwinner. They practically called the shots and if they were caught with another woman it was brushed off. Can you imagine what love was like in a household like that? Now granted there are some women who may live like that even today, but back in those days, it was the norm.
Back in the day when I was young I’m not a kid anymore…
Families back in those days had multiple children and when I say multiple I mean more than 3. My father had 12 siblings and my mother had 4 siblings. When a lot of children are in one household someone is not receiving attention. Sibling rivery becomes an all time high and depending on the ages, children practically took care of each other. It was typical for the older sibling to help pay bills especially if the father wasn’t around. They had roles to fulfill by default and putting their dreams and aspirations to the side. It was kind of like a gimmy gimmy environment. Not often times did they hear the words “I love you” which trickles into their adulthood or even thank you. Their parents felt they were old enough and needed to be responsible around the house. Some older siblings were known as the “man of the house,” if their father was not around.
Relationships are tricky. Marriages are rare and not everyone takes it seriously. I know a lot of people who are happily married and understands marriage is a serious commitment. However, we live in a society where side chicks and boyfriends are accepted. But why? It’s one thing to explore dating and not being devoted to anyone, but there are people in the world who don’t mind being with someone’s spouse. Being second is the new number 1 and there are songs embracing this type of behavior. It boils down to them not knowing how to love and/or valuing themselves enough to be committed to a monogomous relationship.
So what does that mean for you? Do you find yourself caught in negative relationships, being in conflicts, and never getting your point across? It’s vital to take a step back and understand yourself. What do you want out of a relationship and this can decipher from romantic, friendship, or relative relationships in your life. What are you willing to take and when you know someone’s upbringing you have to decide if that person is someone you are willing to work things out with, or move forward and devote your time to healthier relationships. It’s not easy and trust me many things are easier said than done. But it is possible to sit down and evaluate what you want out of any relationship you invest your time in.
Do not let a relationship stress you out. If you find yourself investing more than the other person then its time to make some alternative changes. It’s not fair to give someone your all and they give only a percentage of themselves. Side note: that goes for any relationship! Remember that everything can start with a conversation, and learn how to have positive discussions with those you have conflicts with. Everything is negotiable at some point and if the other person is not ready or not at the maturity level to “talk things out”just give them some space. They will come around and depending on their maturity level will give you the conception of how long they’ll need before a mature conversation is purposed. Do not beat yourself up about it! All you can do is your part and eventually they will come around.
Again! This is not easy by a long shot. There are times when I fall out of relationships with relatives and it takes months to years before they come back into my life and I know I am not the only one out here with that experience. There is a time for everything and understanding how that person loves if they know how at all, will give you the idea of how they perceive relationships. If it comes to a point where you are not successful and you still want that person in your life, understand this: you have to meet people where they are at. WHICH TAKES MATURITY! Not everyone will say they are sorry and not everyone knows how to handle conflict but your actions and qualities can only outshine their personality and at some point they will see the maturity in you and come around. Prayfully!
Community Convo: what were some of the toughest conflicts you faced in life? How did you handle it? How did you show your love to that person during the conflict?