Your Grandmother's MotherApr 25, 2023
Generational Power - Your Grandmother's Mother
Do you realize how powerful previous generations determine your current behavior? Not sure it's true?
Have you been shocked when you discipline your kids and you hear your Mom/Dad come out of your mouth? It is so deeply ingrained we don't even hear our thoughts. Now with our digital imprints, we may be able to track and actually see how our Grandmother's Mother winked the same way when she laughed or scolded the kids with the same rhetoric.
It took me years to believe my negative actions were partially due to acting out from past generational behaviors. For example, my family has a cut-and-run mentality. You won't know you've hurt the other person in our family but they will be deeply hurt to the point you'll never hear from them again. We are a very quiet sensitive bunch, me included.
Unpack Your Baggage
So what happens when you bring that kind of baggage into a marriage? For my husband and I, it resulted in fights where I would shut down for days because I didn't know how to express myself. My husband, Russ, called my moodiness, "funks." It took us years to establish a habit of checking in with each other every week to see how we were doing as a couple. Because I didn't grow up with permission to express myself, I found it difficult to do this with my husband, especially someone who expressed themselves in a loud verbally aggressive way. It was easier to be in a funk than address conflict. But as you know, ignore the issue long enough and you will lose the relationship.
To Counsel or Not to Counsel
It was a blending of our church's Marriage Curriculum, Thrive and our Counselor, Dr. Boyd Whaley, who helped us identify ways to communicate better.
- First was to recognize and understand Emotional Flooding
- Second, was to Pause and wait 20 minutes.
- And third was to create an Emotionally Safe environment for both of us to share our frustrations and hurt.
Have you realized how you act like your Mother/Father and swore you never would do/say/act like that? There are two principles in play, you'll either normalize family-of-origin behavior or you'll be repulsed by the behavior. Which one are you doing today? And do you know how previous generations are impacting your behavior today? Look for patterns.
Learn new communication skills you can immediately apply in your marriage and some harder skills (with practice) that will transform your marriage.