Your legacy may be your child’s mental, emotional and economic demise.
Your boys will grow up to be under achievers, poor contributors to the workforce, and unsuccessful in relationships.
Your girls will be highly educated, independent, financial more secure than men and very likely also single mothers.
Can this be true?
Recently I was working on an article for YourTango about Emotional and Physical intimacy in young adults. I had plenty of opinions, but I wanted to look at studies and insights from other respected researchers, authors, psychologist and reporters.
After a week of more reading on-line than I have done in my lifetime, my eyes hurt, I had pages of notes and a strong sense that all the conclusions and predictions about the emancipation of men, the shifting workforce, shifting age of marriages, male-female disparity in education, etc. was missing the core issue.
I find all this fascinating reading, but can someone please provide some deeper insights and real assistance? People and trends can make positive changes, but not without identifying the core issues and the steps to take to alleviate them.
Some of the shifts are undeniable. One of the articles that won more of my time than the rest was written in March this year by Binyamin Applebaum for The New York Times, entitled Study of Men’s Falling Income Cites Single Parents. He was reporting on recently released research by David H. Autor, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology
It’s a good article, but what is far more telling than the article or even the research is the 747 comments that followed! Justin Bieber does not get that many responses from a post on Facebook.
The fast majority of comments were from women, mostly single parents. Their responses were highly intellectual, well thought out, great grammar, heartfelt, and emotionally charged (mostly of very sound mind). Opinionated, yes! Thought provoking, unquestionably.
All the comments were overwhelming. I read with a depleting box of tissues close by my side.
One woman very carefully documented how she had been raised by a single mom, is a single mom herself and went on to get two college degrees after her hsuband split. Now her own daughter is raising her grandchild also as a single mom. The fathers were absent for 3 generations and the women felt they were proudly surviving.
The obvious hidden message is that the children are following in their single parents footsteps including attracting men that wont stay with them or participate in raising their children. Is this really worthy of pride or should this too common of an occurrence be a major concern?
Another woman in her late 60s, also raised by a single mother summarized her story with this,
“Anyone, regardless of the circumstances, or education level, or support, is only fooling themselves if they think being raised by a single mom (or single parent in general) will not leave scars on the child. My experience and this report, confirms what I suspected; the effect is most prevalent on male children.”
There it was, absolutely clear, our greatest challenge begins with the emotional scaring from our childhood. It’s not just ours, but also our parents and their parents.
Our parents legacy and soon to be our own are unresolved wounds and traumas that result in false intimacy and blame and resentment that have us masterfully hiding or running from ourselves.
First: We need to look honestly at the cause without judgment.
Second: We need to put more emphasis at identifying and accepting our childhood challenges. Not as a permanent imprint, but as the source of our discontent, broken dreams and illusions of good parenting.
To change this we need to realize we are not shamefully damged goods! We are not inherently uneducated, ignorant or an emotionally or physically unhealthy person. Our actions are the result of our environment and not our inherent abilities as human beings.
Robert Burney M.A. said it best in his Internet post Fear of Intimacy. A must read for all of us… multiple times!
"As long as we are reacting unconsciously to our childhood emotional wounds and intellectual programming, we keep repeating the patterns. We keep getting involved with unavailable people. We keep setting ourselves up to be abandoned, betrayed and rejected. We keep looking for love in all the wrong places, in all the wrong faces...”
We send our soldiers overseas to battle and die for debatable causes. We are raised to be soldiers of our environment, approaching life strategically looking for opportunities and carefully avoiding disasters. This is the outer work and the task is complex for sure!
We have not been raised to be worriers of our internal beliefs and self worth. We are rarely if ever taught to be proud and brave and willing to take risks with our emotions and self-doubts.
We are most often raised by a single parent or a mother and father that don’t get along, and whom rarely if ever express love nor show us signs of co-creation and bliss. Pain and shame is all around us, so we decide it is us.
We need to fight a HEALTHY inner battle that begins with the proclomation that "'M NOT BROKEN!" and then exile anything that would have us believe otherwise.
We need to wake up and realize that single parenting is NOT a solution. Either is parenting by mothers and fathers in co-dependent dysfunctional marriages.
These are sure paths to more unhealthy inequality among men and women, false securities and depreciating self worth. More troubled and confused children, more uneducated men and heap of enormous financial challenges ahead.
Our focus needs to be on achieving levels of intimacy together and looking at our relationships as committed partnerships, which are created with an understanding of our core needs and desires and a fearless willingness to state them.
If you and I are not prepared to do these last few things we will make mistakes like getting married too soon or to the wrong partners, make poor decisions about birth control, and judge and blame our friends, parents and colleagues instead of taking personal responsibility. Most of us already have at least once. And most important, we are flat out NOT ready to bring children into this world.
Yes, we have made mistakes, done terrible things and have been hurt by others.
We NOW must know and believe we are not our mistakes, we are not bad people and we are not broken. If we are healthy enough to breath our way through this article we are worthy of true love, joy and happiness. And we can alter the course of our future and create a new powerfully fulfilling legacy for our children.
Larry Michel is a breakthrough relationship expert helping couples and singles shed damaging fears and stories from their past and experiencing true intimacy, love and fulfillment in the present. Find out more at TheFourAnwers.com or MatchMatrix.com or connect with Larry directly at firstname.lastname@example.org