Does coming from a broken family guarantee broken relationships in the future? Not necessarily. Some experts say that children of divorce may fear commitment, but this fear can actually work in their favor by allowing them to have more experiences and get to know themselves as they emotionally mature into adulthood, before making a commitment. Licensed therapist and author Elisabeth Joy Lamotte tells us that healthy, happy relationships are attainable through five easy steps (no, one of them is not matricide), which she's outlined in her book "Overcoming Your Parents' Divorce: 5 Steps To A Happy Relationship." Lamotte discusses with YourTango the importance of recognizing the specific effects of our parents' relationship on our own love lives, whether it was troubled, divorced or even healthy. Read the Q&A to learn about the steps and how to make commitment phobia work to your advantage.
"Parents who are unhappy, dissatisfied or insecure in love, however, go beyond limits and try to dictate or control how their teens treat their dates, the study found. These parents try to influence their kids to value certain things and act in specific ways. Parents would tell teens to open doors for dates, 'act like a gentleman' (or a lady), or resist letting a date 'walk all over' them. The goal may be to launch their teens on a romantic path happier than their own, Dr. Madsen says. But kids often regard this advice as intrusive, and again, it tended to have the opposite effect. The teens affected weren't particularly content with their dating relationships."
Call it a Mr. Mom backlash. For couples eschewing stereotypical division of household duties, sharing responsibility isn't about role reversal; it's about role sharing and thinking like teammates or co-pilots instead of gender-bending pioneers. The New York Times Magazine's cover story this coming Sunday (already available online) profiles several families where designated "mom" and "dad" duties don't exist, at least not as society generally defines them.
My boyfriend during my freshman year of Brown was a 6'5'' black guy from Philly who played power forward on the basketball team. One of the main reasons I was drawn to him was that I knew my parents wouldn’t approve. They are what you might call liberal conservatives: They’re NPR-listening, cultured, Democratic-voting Jews, but my mom doesn’t like women with visible bra straps, and my dad doesn’t feel comfortable around black men. It didn’t work out with the basketball player and by the time I graduated I was still single. I moved into an apartment in Brooklyn with some roommates, and at night I barhopped with a girlfriend who had guys falling left and right for her because she smoked and knew how to appear disinterested. I threw myself at every 120-pound drummer who gave me a second glance.