We all kind of make fun of Freud’s old adage that every problem in our life comes from the relationship we had with our mother, but it wouldn’t be so funny if there wasn’t at least a little bit of truth to the idea. In our RELATE Assessment, we have an entire section dedicated to how each partner in a marriage feels about their family-of-origin (the family they grew up in) and how this might impact their current relationship. When I took the assessment a few years ago myself, I remember feeling skeptical that so much emphasis really needed to be placed on issues in my family in the past. But now, 3 years later, after working with clients and doing the research, I’ve been fully converted to understanding and exploring our past as it impacts our current relationships now.
Please don’t just take my word for it though, as many studies have repeatedly shown the correlation with our families-of-origin and our current marital satisfaction. One recent study, in particular, explored the effect of parental divorce and parental conflict on current newlyweds’ marital satisfaction. They wanted to know why there’s often a negative impact from these childhood experiences on the current relationship.
Their results confirmed, once again, that negative family-of-origin experiences led to lower marital satisfaction, especially for women. There was some evidence that conflict-resolution skills were the reason for this negative correlation. It wasn’t a perfect result, so there is still more to be explored, but it suggests that one way to combat the difficulties in your relationship stemming from your family is to focus on how well you can resolve conflict in your marriage. But you can’t even begin this work until you really know how your family life is affecting you as an adult. Take the RELATE Assessment to get a clearer picture of where you stand with your family-of-origin experiences and how it might be affecting your relationship today.
Read the original article here.