The old saying “You don’t marry a wife, you marry her whole family” was conceived by someone with a very observant mind. It’s true: Parents, as well as your whole line of Ancestors, affect how you relate to each other in a marriage, how you react to problems, and how you resolve them.
Take any problem – diet, career, the number of kids you want, exercise, sleep or lovemaking schedule . . . anything you used to do alone now has an added factor – a spouse. Add other elements to this equation – like kids or elderly parents living with you – then the problems become exponentially more complex!
But lets assume for the moment that there is just the two of you. You still have the whole parent-ancestor influence surrounding you and probably don’t even know it. I didn’t either until I became aware of it recently.
I was very mean to my husband a few days ago. I accused him of laziness, rudeness, not wanting to help around the house, and not willing to take our son to a play date. The fact that he has a full-time job and often works late is besides the point!
It was soon thereafter, when I was able to get a break and settle down, that my husband actually said something about it. Arnold pointed out – calmly and lovingly I might add, that while he loves me, he was feeling overwhelmed himself, and didn’t know how to respond to me in a way that I perceived as supporting. He then actually apologized for being insensitive at that time!
Wow. What a husband!
Because he was able to do this, however, I was suddenly able to see MY role in this whole fiasco . . . namely that I often blame him for things I’m feeling, rather than for actually things he fails to do. Although I don’t consider myself stupid, this was actually a breakthrough for me. I was also able to remember that I acted the same way that my mother reacted to my father . . . and the same way my mother told me her mother reacted!!
After a bit of research I found out there is actually a science called epigenetics that explains this whole thing. Apparently, some or all behaviors can be inherited, and that I was living out some unresolved anger or frustration felt by my mother, grandmother, and who knows who else up the ladder!
Needless to say, I’ve been paying closer attention to my son’s inherited behavior since this incident. Obviously he got the temper tantrums from his dad and his amazing ability to keep his room neat from me. But hey, it’s only science, right?