How To Break Up With Parental Baggage

By YourTango

How To Break Up With Parental Baggage
Five steps to making our parents' relationship residue work for us.

The third step is to really face your commitment phobia because it comes in all these different shapes and forms. Is it that you choose unsuitable partners? Is it that you choose suitable partners but are unavailable to them? Is it both?

The fourth step is called calculating your dividend. Can you find an upside to the divorce, as awful as it was. Are there ways that you grew from having a step-sibling or step-parent or other relationship that came into your life because of the divorce. Trying to find the little areas where it may be that the divorce is part of who you are in a good way.


Step five is coaching people through forging healthy relationships. Going about them in a different way than they may have been doing.

GL: Is it about going after a different type of person than you have been?

EJL: Yes. I took this phrase from a client. If you can slowly get to know different people, you get a better sense of what you like, don't like. I was explaining this to one client, and she said "Oh my gosh, you make it sound like it's one big relationship supermarket, and everyone's just going around squeezing each other like fruits and vegetables." The theme is to shop the relationship supermarket, and it builds on another theme where I compare people your date to being candy bars vs. apples. Candy bars being unsuitable partners, apples being suitable partners.

GL: Do you think that the divorce rate will fall as people marry at later ages?

EJL: My instinct is yes. I think people marrying later have had a chance to know themselves better. They can be more settled with the choice and happier. A lot of people who divorced in the 70s as you mentioned married really young when they were basically kids. If you marry older, I think you'll see people with less of a need to go through a second adolescence.

I wanted to write this book because all the literature makes it seem like fearing commitment is such a bad thing, but I think it's a blessing in disguise, for a lot of people. You know yourself better, you're more emotionally mature when you marry, you're more aware, you have more life experience, you're in a better position to know what you really want.

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