Recently, I’ve done some soul searching. Very often when my husband, Gary, and I disagree, it reminds me of the conflicts that my parents too often had when I was a child. And my first reaction to him in those times is to “table the conversation.” But recently I’m beginning to recognize that I’ve been doing this for a reason that I’ve not really considered before…
So I began to remember back to my childhood when my parents would argue—and, let me tell you, they could have a real humdinger of a fight! Now, it’s important to note that most of the time the escalation of their disagreements was instigated by my mother. I remember secretly wishing that I could say something to get her to calm down or back down from the fight, but I felt helpless to change what was happening.
In those heated moments, I so desperately wanted to make my parents act lovingly toward one another. It was as if, when they fought, my world seemed to be spiraling out of control. I know that I wasn’t seeing things clearly. I simply was thinking like a typical child and taking my parent’s actions too personally.
Back to present day, I find that I still feel like that helpless little girl when I’m in a disagreement with Gary. In other words, I’m still trying to control my mother (now in the form of Gary) by squelching any conversation that might appear to veer toward conflict.
Now, here’s what I want to say to you…
- Are you fighting with a ghost—someone that still haunts your thoughts?
- Are some of the ways that you discuss difficult issues with your spouse governed by unresolved issues that you were affected by in your parent’s marriage?
If so, take some time to remember how you felt when your parents were at odds or simply not communicating adequately or health-fully. Recognizing this subconscious tendency is helping me to separate Gary from my parents and giving me the ability to stay engaged on a less anxious level.
So if you’re brave enough, share some of the childhood feelings that haunt you still, here. Maybe your insight will be the light bulb moment for someone else who reads this blog.