Getting rid of Anxiety that you might end up like your parents
Before we begin I would like to inform you that if you or anyone you know is going through Family trauma please contact
Domestic and Family Violence Hotline at 1800 737 732 (Australia)
White Ribbon Australia
Its common for most people from broken family backgrounds to have anxiety when it comes to forming new relationships. Specially if they had to go through a rough parental divoroce when they were young . Most people that I know who come from broken families tend to have one fear in common . That is they are afraid that they might turn out just like their parents ,they are under the assumption that an apple doesn't fall far away from the tree .While this may be true ,many of these people are in successful relationships , they are avoiding many things that their parents couldnt. However that preconceived fear is still among them and it haunts their dreams .They are not aware that having a fear such as this might actually destroy their relationships or might prevent them from ever being in one. In this article I’m trying to help you get rid of this fear and turn your life around .
It is not your fault
Recently I had a chat with a friend of mine who we will refer to in this essay as Mr Bob .Granted this chap is in a loving committed relationship , recently hes been having some problems in his 3 year partnership with his girlfriend .Now few minutes into the chat I realized that Bob has worries about his future. He comes from a broken family ,his parents went through an unpleasant divorce and he and his brother had to go through a messy custody battle as a children . Hes mentioned to me that his parents divorce caused him many mental trauma over the past few years of his life .Now even though hes in a loving relationship hes in constant anxiety that he might make the same mistakes his parents did and end up in a ditch with a failed marriage.
From many interactions I’ve noticed similar thought patterns among other people who come from broken homes . In this article I will address how to get rid of this type of anxiety so that it will help you adjust your thought patterns .
Answering The big Question “Will I end up like my parents”?
Truth be told No!!. If people decide to change certain lifestyle choices chances of someone making the same mistakes like their parents are really low. One could argue that an apple doesn't far away from the tree ,while genes play a considerable role in who we are ,we can still turn around and change ourselves far apart from our successors if we decide to do so .
I always say to people who brings me this question that what happened to you was not your fault ,it was your parents ,but if you decide to remain the same way and not change anything about YOURSELF, then it is your fault . Once we reach a certain age group we are fully capable of making our own family ,being financially independent, being in adult relationships and etc . My argument is that if you set out a series of goals to achieve and you stay focused chances of you end up like your parents is really low .Let me give you few tips on adjusting your mindset for a better future.
How to get rid of Anxiety that might ruin you relationship.
Mr Bob is in constant anxiety even though hes in a successful relationship ,can overthinking lead to a potential break up? ,yes it might . I strongly believe we become who we think to become ,if you strongly belief that you want to loose weight you will put in the work for it automatically because you are determined to loose weight. If you are consistent you will achieve your target .Our thoughts easily convert into actions ,hence if you constantly believe that you might make any decisions that might jeopardize your relationship chances are you might automatically make a move that might turn things around in a good functioning relationship . This is the first thing I told Mr Bob when he called me “stop worrying for no apparent reason and focus on the present”. But I understand ,it is easier said than done. What can we do to reduce these negative thoughts from our mind ?
Share your feelings with your partner
Most of the time when there is a problem in the relationship most people look for outside help rather than discussing it with their significant other ,now there is nothing wrong with asking for help but first you should address the Elephant in the room with your partner. It simple ,pick a date both of you are free, go out to eat or make food at home and once everything is settled ,tell your partner that you think something is wrong. A key to a happy relationship is actually being honest and open about how you feel . Moreover ,its everyone's responsibility to be mindful and address the situation with an open mind instead of being aggressive .
If you are unsure of how to communicate properly with your partner , I will be writing a special article just on communication but lets try few examples as to how you can navigate in a situation like this .
Use words such as feel ,want,discuss,lost,anxious, and sad etc
Start with an Open Invitation for a conversation
“Hey babe , I’dont feel well these days , I’m sad ,there is something that I want to discuss with you”
Once you sit down with your partner ,start opening the can of worms ,but slowly ,one by one . Remember your partner is not a trained professional ,they might not be able to handle everything altogether .Go easy on them.
“My parents divorced has affected me a lot ,psychologically , I have been in somewhat of confusion and I used to feel lost as a child ,even though I’m happy when I’m with you ,my past seem to haunt me” , I have an anxious feeling that I might be like my parents” .
“An Issues List” Making a list of problems that you saw in your parents relationship and your relationships
Again this might seem a bit counter intuitive ,you might think “am I supposed to forget about what I went through” ? Firstly ,while forgetting about trauma can be a practical solution ,I personally don’t believe shutting the cap on your emotional turmoil is the best solution . A best solution would be to learn to process your emotions so that when you are remembered of your trauma or facing new trauma you can overcome it .Secondly ,making a list of issue that you saw in your parents relationship will help you navigate your future relationships. The idea is to cross reference two lists and find problematic spots and then avoid them
Here’s an example .
First make a list of your Mom and Dads faults
- Screamed a lot
- Were physical with each other when arguing
- Dad came home late ,drunk
- Dad never had the time to play with me
- I dont see my parents showing affection towards each other (kissing ,hugging etc)
- Dad slept with his assistant
- Cursed at each other
- Mom is a smoker
Then Make a list of your current relationship
- Cursing at each other
- Getting physical sometimes
- Ignoring each other
- Talking with others to make my girl mad
- Don’t compliment each other like we used to
- He/She smokes a lot
I’m summery these few items always were present
- Miss communication
- Verbal Aggression
- Physical aggression
- Alcohol or drug Addiction
While this may be a general list ,each and every individual’s story is unique and different but if you do compile a list ,I’m almost certain at least two of those items above must be present .
If you have compiled two lists ,now its the time to compare both and if your list and your parents list have similarities its time to take action .If not but there are some items in both lists then you are in the green zone and you can use these data to not worry . But if you do see similarities in your list and your parents list . You should definitely talk your partner and consult a professional .
If you saw miscommunication as something that crippled your parents relationship and is a reoccurring issue in your relationship ,you both should work on effectively communicating .There are classes that are specifically dedicated to communication . While its okay to be not good at communicating properly ,its not okay to do noting about it.
Difference of opinion is usually met with aggression and aggression is common among many faulty relationships .Verbal and physical abuse towards your partner is NOT something you should EVER consider ,a relationship should be a happy and a safe space between two individuals ,and any problem can be solved without being aggressive. When exchanging words if you feel like things are getting worse ,take a 10 second breather or leave the premises immediately . Remember DOMESTIC VIOLENCE IS NEVER A SOLUTION . IF you are experiencing domestic violence please contact 1800 737 732 (Australia) immediately .
Small things go a long way
One thing that I loved about my parents are that they used to compliment each other almost everyday. My dad would suddenly come up to my mom and say “hey I love those earnings” ,or sometimes my mom would say to my dad that “your smile helps me heal”. They have been married for over two decades and they still manage to compliment each other and rejuvenates their relationship . I get to witness this affection and I strongly believed complimenting can go a long way. It doesn't cost anything to be nice to one another.
So take a moment to compliment your partner . Buy her flowers once in a while ,tell her that she looks good in red . Tell him that his penis is the best there is (yes guys love it) . Don’t just compliment each other on Facebook ,your romance should be inside the house not in the cyberspace.
Coming from a broken family is nothing to be ashamed of . Always keep in mind that what happened to you was not your fault if you make right decisions in the future you can be successful in your relationships . Moreover, if you have a fear that you might end up going in the same direction as your parents ,you should analyze your current relationship to find out any problem spots . You can use a simple method such as using an “Issues List” where you make two lists that contains problems in your parents relationship and your current relationship . Then cross reference both to find out whether there are any similarities between the two. Lastly,communication is vital for any relationships its best you improve your relationship.