Should I get to the bottom of my parents’ issues?

by Rod Smith

My mother (64) and my father (63) have been at each other for years about an event in their marriage that nearly ended it. Sometimes it seems to get heated and sometimes it seems to be playful. I think my dad had an affair but it is not something either has talked about. I feel like I should try to uncover what this upset was all about as a way of securing these things do not occur in my own marriage. What do you think? (Letter condensed)

Some people need their conflicts....

I think you ought to leave your parents to fight their own well-worn battles. People need their “old” conflicts, and it seems from the tone of what you have said, that their conflict is part of their glue, their mutual culture, and the ongoing conversation that help keep them going.

Uncovering your parents’ issues in the belief it will secure stability in your own marriage is to bark up the wrong tree.

Focus on being committed to your emotional health, your covenant relationship, and your long-term individual goals as a person and shared long-term goals as a couple, and your marriage will probably be most satisfying.

One Comment to “Should I get to the bottom of my parents’ issues?”

  1. I read your article on your word for the younger people and my heart was filled with gratitude for a word like this and hopefully many young people will read it. Unfortunately my heart is also saddened because we are trying to find ways to maintain relationship with our only child and her husband. We are being corrected and reprimanded by them (specially our daughter) many times to the extend that I sometimes want to say to her : “Remember I am your mother, you can’t say these things to me and what I have learned a long time ago, what you still have to learn”. I sometimes sense they feel they are the parents and they can teach us about life rather than the other way round. We as parents have lived life and have learned valuable lessons in many valleys through and our walk with God we came out stronger and closer to Him. We don’t want to parent our children but we miss being part of and drawn in into their lives on a friendship level and sometimes to be part of the process of decision making even if it is only to be a soundboard to them. They process it only with spiritual leaders in the church or friends. We have a high regard for them as a couple and we can’t fault them. We are aware of things God is going to work out in them and through them but it is not up to us to address it. They are a loving family and wonderful parents to their two little boys but we feel as if we are being pushed aside and we have to stand on the side of the road watching them running the race of life and we are not part of it. We are cheering them on but we are not ever asked about any skills or lessons we learned in our race. We are aware that we have made mistakes as parents and we have asked for forgiveness and we are willing to work through issues whenever we encounter issues but I am saddened to say that we are struggling as parents and grandparents and your article pushed all the painful buttons we are not experiencing in our relationship with our daughter and the non existent relationship with our son in law.

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