3 Ways To Cope When You Realize You’ve Married Someone Who’s Just Like Your Parents

Learn to cope when it feels like you’re married to your parent.

Couple talking, reminding each other of their parents communication Winnie Bruce,  pondsaksitphotos, naïri | Canva

Marriage is a wonderful new beginning for a couple. However, if one partner turns into the other's mother, the relationship will suffer.

You have been married for a while and have been happy and content. But, one day, you suddenly realize your partner annoys you because they act just like your mother. (I use mother, but father is equally as relevant.)

Throughout your married life, your spouse picks at you when you do things, just like your mother used to do. Or, they find it difficult to express their emotions, just like she does.


It annoys you because you react to them like you did to your mother as a child. You may react like this without realizing it.

You feel bound up in old ways of doing things, as though you’ve fallen back into a space you didn’t want to be in again.

Why on Earth would you want to live every day feeling unhappy in a relationship, as you did in your childhood?

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Here are 3 ways to cope when you realize you’ve married someone who’s just like your parents:

1. Learn to recognize your wants and express them

In a romantic love space, their behavior seems acceptable.

We tend to live in a fantasy world when we are in the "romance" of our new relationship. You might have noticed you're shying away from a different relationship because it felt scary and unfamiliar. There’s a reason for that.

We tend to find a relationship that feels familiar because, in our world, it feels safe. The person does things we feel comfortable with. They respond in ways we are very used to from our childhood.

As a child, I thought I wasn't allowed to have needs and wasn't allowed to have them or express them.


If you're like me, then this carries over into your relationship. You feel out of touch with your needs, let alone speak them out loud. Expressing your needs leads to dissent, being run over, ruled, and controlled. You're unable to be yourself.

When you’re like this, you aren’t being your true self. The self who knows what she wants deep down inside.

So, it’s time to shift that thinking and realize you can have needs, and express them.

Start with small things like asking for the sound turned down on the T.V. or a cup of coffee. The more you practice this, the easier it gets.

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2. Take time out to be by yourself

Of course, when you are being wined and dined to learn what you like from a physical perspective, life is rosy.

You’re both in this dance of love space. They seem to be your perfect partner. There are so many things about them you love that anything you don’t like seems to be hidden.

We live in this space with rose-colored glasses on, often for quite some time after our relationship begins. Deep down, their behavior is familiar. We feel warm and safe around them.

Yet, life changes when you get married. Everything gets serious when you decide to live together or tie the knot.

Once you’ve moved in together, real life then begins.


Do you notice how a lot of what you do and where you go is based on their needs? This is another subtle thing that is not valuable to you or your relationship.

In a good marriage, you must know how to take time out for yourself. What sort of things do you like to do that you’ve stopped doing? Maybe it might be that you wanted to go to the movies and they don’t want to, so you don’t go.

Turn that around and decide if you want to go, you go. They don’t need to be with you. Doing this is likely to feel strange at first. And, again, the more you do it, the happier you are likely to find yourself.

Go for those early morning walks, or better yet, both in the morning and evening if it’s what makes you happy.


RELATED: How To Accept Your Parents For Who They Really Are — Now That You Know The Truth

3. Do what it takes to express how you are feeling

For a little while, the romance is there, and you gradually notice their behavior that grates on you. The things they say and do have you feeling like you’re back in front of your mother being told off or when you feel like you can’t do anything right around her.

These "familiar moments" get more and more frequent the more time you’re together. Soon, life feels unbearable.

You didn’t get married to be thrust back into life with your mother. There’s a split-second thought, "Why did I marry this person?"


The answer is you married them because it felt safe. It felt familiar and was what you needed at that time. How can you live inside this life and be happy?

When we’re living in this sort of relationship, we are likely to shut down our feelings. Especially if our mothers aren't comfortable with us expressing ourselves.

This is not about crying 24 hours a day. It is about saying you’re angry when you feel angry. Express your disappointment when you feel it. When you have been hurt, tell them that you’re hurt.


Odd as it seems, expressing your feelings has nothing to do with them. Your partner may think it does, and that’s their issue.

On the other hand, you are allowed to have and express your emotions freely, so do it!

What’s important here is exploring ways you live your life while still in this relationship.

So, stop and put into practice these three simple pieces of marriage advice, and you’ll feel more able to live your life, even though it feels like you’re married to your mother.

You might find a hidden side of yourself you hadn’t realized was inside you. Let her out!

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Karen Cherrett is a relationship coach, life coach, and holistic counselor who works with individuals to be clearer in their communication.