Could it really be possible that the problems I am experiencing currently in my marriage today didn’t start in my marriage?

Answer: YES!! There are childhood hurts and wounds that lie beneath our marital irritations, distresses and frustrations.

A heritage has been handed down to us by our parents and it unfortunately includes the negative childhood injuries. Most of us had some very bad parental experiences which were pretty hurtful and harmful. Such experiences are left imprinted (as “love styles”) and imparted into us and they disadvantage and hinder our marriage relationship.

There are five love styles that can affect your marriage – –

  1. The avoider,
  2. The pleaser,
  3. The vacillator,
  4. The controller and the victim.
  5. The secure connector

The aim of this article is not to pass our marital failures to our parents and blame them but it is to expose the truth and the good news: your marital problems don’t necessarily start in your marriage.

Lets examine the love styles and how they affect your marriage:

The Avoider

It is possible that your spouse could be brought up in a performance based home that encouraged independence and discouraged the expression of feelings or personal concerns and needs. A spouse who grew up in this set up may often not be aware of his/her own feelings, nor want to discuss personal concerns. Such a spouse is likely to resist their partner emotionally and not frequently ask you for support and they will not really miss you or their family when away because they grew up saying to themselves: “I need space”.

The Pleaser

This spouse grew up having to be a good kid with good moods and please his parents or siblings as a result of growing up with a sibling with special needs or a worried parent. They grew up appeasing a troubled parent and will totally avoid conflict, rejection and seek to connect with others by meeting that person’s needs. As an adult, the spouse would then avoid sharing personal views or feelings and thus are less truthful.

The Vacillator

These are children of parents who give them attention sometimes. They are often given attention as often as they are rejected. As adults they react when not given attention by their spouses. They feel abandoned, rejected or not understood when the spouse is busy or distracted. They would often pick a fight and knot know why and make others to be extra careful around them.

The Controller and the Victim

These children grew up under domestic violence and the parents did not comfort them but were rather the source of the children ‘stress. Anger is the central emotion and it is deemed as the safest as it controls and intimidates and subdues. As adults, the spouse then becomes controlling and sworn never to be vulnerable again or be found in the victim position again.

The Secure Connector

Being a secure connector is having full control of one’s emotions as a child and an adult – reasonable, patient and gracious.

The question then remains: are you addressing your marital problem at their root. The root is embedded in how you were raised and what response mechanisms were imprinted in you as a child.

Biblically speaking, you are currently shaping the “adult to be” in your child by how you are raising them. What you do can advantage or disadvantage their marriage to be.

God expects us to follow His Blueprint on parenting.

The children are supposed to honour you (Ephesians 6:1-3) so that it may be well with them and that they live long.

Children are indeed a blessing from the Lord(Psalm 123).

Teach them the Word of God (Deuteronomy 6:6-9). Train them up in the way they should go (Proverbs 22:6) and fathers should not provoke them (Colossians 3:21) without withholding correction from them(Proverbs 23:13-14).

Do not discourage them (Col 3:21) and do support and provide for them (1Tim5:8)

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