Don't Copy Your Parents' Marital Woes

If you grew up in an unhappy home, it's natural to think that your parents' problems will affect your future love life. But psychologist and The Early Show contributor Robin Goodman says it's time to stop worrying!

She shares advice, so you parents' troubles don't get passed down to you.

Goodman says you are "at risk" of not having a great marriage or relationship if your parents did not have a great marriage. "Your parents are role models for everything. How they interacted, as well as how they problem-solve. So you may have watched and noticed how they got along. Think about it. If they were hugging and kissing affectionate, if they talked about problems, then you think that's what I should do in a relationship. And the opposite is if they didn't, then you also might think relationships are fraught with distress and misery," she explains.

"Even if you grew up knowing this didn't feel right in the home you're just going to copy it because it just seems normal? Is that the pattern?" Julie Chen asks Goodman.

"Possibly. Of course, there's no guarantee. There's plenty of people that say 'I'm going to be different. I know the kind of relationship that I should have.' But what can happen is it can affect how you feel about yourself and what you expect in a relationship. So you may kind of go into relationships thinking that you can't trust people or if you were a child that was dragged into the middle of relationships, then you might feel like you want to step away from certain situations. Or you may think people are going to be disloyal or maybe cheat if that was something that you witnessed," Goodman says.

Goodman's first tip for shaking your parents' problems is to spend time with many different people.

"You want to have a lot of different kind of experiences. Sometimes the trap is that you repeat something bad habits. Sometimes when you then date someone who is different you realize, 'Oh, my gosh, I can feel different.' Relationships can be different. But also have lots of friends, because you can see them and their positive relationships. And it also helps you feel better about yourself. You won't feel lonely or abandoned," she recommends.
  • Daniel Schorn

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