Toxic Family Stuff
On a number of occasions, I have mentioned marriages being harmed and destroyed by toxic things brought into the marriage from a husband or wife’s family of origin.
Usually, we don’t even know we’re carrying such things. We all grew up assuming our family was normal. Perhaps we disliked the yelling or manipulating we saw our parents doing, and we may be doing a decent job of not following their example, but that doesn’t free us from the damage those things did to our ability to trust or be intimate.
It’s not just parents who can program us for marriage problems. Siblings, especially older same sex siblings, are another source of distortions, lies, and general garbage about marriage, individuals of the other sex, or who we are. Aunts, uncles and grandparents can also poison our future marriages when we are young.
Even if you’re middle age, even if your parents are gone, their marriage legacy could still be hurting or limiting your marriage. Spend some time prayerfully thinking about the examples you saw growing up and the declarative statements made to and about you. Unless your family was very unusual or you’ve already dealt with all of it, there’s probably some junk there you need to deal with.
~ Paul – I’m XY, and I know firsthand a marriage that looks okay can still damage the children.