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How Not To Be Your Parents In 3 Steps

How Not To Be Your Parents In 3 Steps

Why You're Not Doomed to Repeat Your Parents’ Marriage Mistakes


    You grew up the child of divorced parents, which was difficult enough. But now you're trying to forge your own relationship, and you're worried. WIll you be like them? Here are three reasons you won't repeat your parents mistakes.

1. It’s not the same for you.  
You are a different person than either of your parents, with a different partner, in a different time. Your parents divorce doesn’t have to mean your marriage won’t last. You are in an entirely different situation, and that gives you the opportunity to do it your own way. They did not have the benefit of all the research and information on how to make it work that we have today. Resolve to learn and grow.

2.  You can choose the family traditions you keep. 
Review your memories about growing up in your family – before the divorce and after. Consider what you liked and didn’t like – no one’s childhood is all bad or all good. What you learned from your parents’ example is not a package deal – you can decide to discard the behavior and traditions you don’t like, and keep the ones that suit you. Remember you can still learn, experiment, and change whatever isn’t working for you.

3. You didn’t know your parents before you were born.  
You have no experience of what your parents were like before they had children, while they were courting, when they first got together. Maybe it started out wonderful, and they just didn’t know how to keep the wonderful going. Most relationships are fun when they begin. If you work at it, you can figure out how to keep the love, sex and joy alive in your own way.


More stories, blogs, advice for children of divorce.

Tina Tessina, Ph.D., has been a licensed California psychotherapist for more than 30 years. She has authored more than 11 books, including "Money, Sex and Kids"; “The Commuter Marriage: Keeping your Relationship Close While you’re Far Apart”; "How to Be a Couple and Still Be Free"; "The Unofficial Guide to Dating Again"; and, “It Ends with You: Grow Up and Grow Out of Dysfunction.”  Tina can be reached at tina@tinatessina.com.

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