Families, our home culture, have the first and most important role in our growth and development. They influence the things we like, our personalities, and even the way we act in romantic relationships. Our parents teach us how to show affection, how to speak to others as well as ourselves, and influence our attachment style.
There are four different attachment styles according to the attachment theory: secure, anxious (ambivalent), avoidant, and disorganized (fearful). There is so much out there regarding the attachment theory. If you are interested in learning more, start here.
Many people look at their parents relationship as one to emulate, but it’s fair to say the same amount, if not more people look at their parents relationship as one to learn from rather than reproduce in their own lives.
It’s not just parents either — it’s also our siblings. If you grew up with one or more siblings then at some point you had to communicate and deal with conflict with them. Our sibling relationships can play an important role in shaping our close relationships as an adult according to this article on Psychology Today.
Unfortunately for many people, talking about their family is a painful topic. Divorce, separation, or abuse could be a part of yours or your partner’s story. The great news is a new script can be written for your relationship — it doesn’t have to look anything like the difficulties you might have experienced with your family. However, it is important to let your partner in and help them understand your context.
This week talk to your partner about their family. Here are a few questions to start with.
How do you think your family affects the way you communicate with me?
What did you learn about dealing with conflict from your parents/siblings?
Did your family talk openly about money?
How did your family deal with sex and intimacy?
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