Image: Unsplash
Image: Unsplash

How did my parents’ marriage influence my view on relationships?

My parents’ marriage, or lack thereof is a topic I tend to avoid, a topic that until now I would not have thought had influenced my view on relationships. But it undoubtedly has. Looking back, I don’t even remember my parents being together, so how could my parents’ marriage influence the view I have on relationships today?

My parents decided to get divorced when I was 8 years old and before they confirmed their decision to get a divorce, their marriage was complicated to say the least. This is not to say I view all relationships as being complicated, I don’t, I think it has simply made me perceive relationships in a completely different light. Ultimately, I feel most relationships probably won’t last, and sometimes the people you thought would never let you down are the ones that do in the end.

A marriage is a partnership and you should never go to bed on an argument – that is how you resolve any relationship problem

A little bit melancholy, I know. This does not mean I have a pessimistic view of all relationships. I do generally view them in a positive light, every relationship happens for a reason – you experience new things, new people, new problems. No relationship is ever the same, they are all different in their own personal way. My parents’ marriage made me understand this: it had its own complications which in their new relationships are bound to never happen again. Through every relationship there are new things to learn, new characters to get to know and new problems to resolve.

I think it would be unfair to say that my parents’ failed marriage is the only example of relationships that have influenced me. Growing up, I think you are influenced by more than just your parents’ relationship, but rather by all the relationships you encounter and get to witness. I have been massively influenced by my grandparents, their 61 year-long successful and happy marriage has shown me an example of long-term commitment. My grandad recently said that “a marriage is a partnership and you should never go to bed on an argument – that is how you resolve any relationship problem.” Given how long they have been married I would be stupid to say this is not something to go by and it has certainly influenced my view on working through relationship problems in future.


 No matter what happened in their relationship or marriage, being able to get along and put your children first is what is most admirable

While my parents may not be together, that doesn’t mean the relationship they now have does not influence my views on relationships and how to act as partners outside of a marriage. They are still a partnership as parents to my sister and I, they have maintained a relationship for the sakes of their children, which is more than I could ask for and more than anyone could want from a relationship. It is too common for parents to get a divorce and simply not get along: my parents are a perfect example that this doesn’t have to happen. In my case, my parents, divorce aside, are parents first and foremost, no matter what happened in their relationship or marriage, their ability to get along and put their children first is what is most admirable.

My mum said as I began writing this article that you should always look forward in a relationship, because you can’t change what has happened by looking back. I think, overall, that message is the biggest influence I have taken from my parent’s marriage and how it has impacted my view of relationships.

My parents are my rocks, and although their marriage is no reflection of what I want in my future, they have provided me with such valuable lessons for my relationships that I otherwise would never have known. My view on relationships is that you should always remain a partnership if there are children involved, don’t ever go to bed on an argument and most importantly, there are so many more people to consider in a relationship than just the two of you and your problems. Nothing can ever take that away from me, not even having divorced parents.


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