Truthbomb: You're Dating Your Parents — 2 Sensitive Ways To Deal


You're just like your mother!

That is probably one of the most irritating accusations anyone can make, especially your partner. But what you don't realize is that it's actually (slightly) true (no matter how much you vehemently disagree).

Because you were raised by your parents, you're conditioned to think and act like them. While you gain new perspectives from new and ever-changing environments as you grow older, there are certain things that stick with you. 

This Is Especially True When Finding A Mate

The people you end up dating in your life tend to have many (but not all) similar qualities to your parents. You're so accustomed to those qualities that you're attracted to people who have them.

It's also true that the way your parents treat and relate to each other can determine the way you act in your own relationship.

Your partner is just as much like your parents as you are and visa versa. You chose to be in each other's lives for this reason, and you should expect that each has those certain knit-picky qualities you dealt with growing up (from your parents).

Deal With It For Love

And just like you handled it with your parents because you love them, if you truly love your partner, you should be willing to work through these same issues with your partner.

SVP of YourTango Experts Melanie Gorman sits down with psychologist Dr. Stan Tatkin, premarital, marital and infidelity recovery counselor Dr. Jim Walkup, couple therapist and author Dr. Colene Sawyer Schlaepfer and individual and relational recovery therapist Argie Spuck to discuss some ways to make your relationship successful as you cope with the fact that your partner's innate qualities are difficult to change. 

Here are two ways they say you can easily resolve these relationship issues:

1. Reflect On Your Familial Pet Peeves 

Look back on your family's idiosyncratic actions. What are some actions and perspectives you admired? Which could you NEVER tolerate? Knowing what you like and don't like before getting into a serious relationship with someone who acts just like your parents will definitely prevent tension. If you really want to be with this person, you'll know what you two need to work on before the heated arguments ensue. 

"I find that sometimes people choose someone who is like the parent they had the most problem with, actually. And their's a hope they'll get it right this time. This time, this person love me like I always wished Mommy or Daddy would love me. And that can be a growth situation if they really are conscious of it. And if they're not, it can be disaster," says Dr. Colene Sawyer Schlaepfer.

2. Don't Act Like It's NOT Your Problem

As a loving partner in this relationship, you have the responsibility to fix any relationship problems — even if it's an innate action your partner is notorious for doing. You made a commitment to create a strong and loving relationship together. If you can't stand something your partner is doing, discuss it and come to a resolution before getting angry about it.

Be empathetic and sensitive to your partner's situation and emotions. Don't make your partner solve it on his/her own because it's often something very difficult to overcome alone. 

Dr. Stan Tatkin emphasizes the important point that "[for] me to say, 'Hey, that's not me. That's your father, or that's your mother!' that's a little bit rude, right? Because when I marry you, I adopt you. I take you on as my burden, and that includes your past. So, if I say, 'Well, that's not me. Take it up with someone else!' ... I'm outsourcing it when really I'm the person to repair that or take care of that."

Are you still finding it difficult to cope with your partner's frustrating actions or perspectives? Scroll up to the video above to hear some highly beneficial professional advice that can lead you to a strong (and deeply loving) relationship.