This Be The Verse
They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They fill you with the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.
But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another’s throats.
Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don’t have any kids yourself.–Philip Larkin
Damn I love that poem. Always have. It’s the first thing that came to my mind when I decided to do today’s poll and I felt the need to share it. For those of you who were offended, get over it. It’s Philip Larkin!
OK, now on to business. Earlier this week I found an amazing post called What Did Your Parents Teach You About Relationships (A Discussion) in Onely: Single and Happy. It really made me think about what my parents taught me about relationships.
There are some things I’ve already revealed about my parents on this blog, but it’s been in bits and pieces over time. So, here’s a recap: my parents met and married rather late for their generation (they were in their very late 20s); they were introduced by a friend of both families; they got engaged one month after they met, they were married for 40 years(my mom passed away); they fought just about every day(loud, screaming fights); my dad is absolutely lost and lonely now that my mom is gone.
Growing up I thought my parents had the worst marriage ever. I couldn’t imagine why they stayed together or what they saw in each other, as they didn’t seem to have much in common and couldn’t stand to be in the same room together.
But then, as I got older and started to have my own, complicated relationships I started to realize that my parents had a lot in common. They wanted exactly the same things out of life and have identical value systems. In other words, they agreed on the really important stuff. And that those similar visions of the world and what they wanted out of it were what brought them together and kept them together, all of those years.
That’s what I’ve learned from my parents about relationships. That I can disagree with a guy on just about everything, but if we agree on the important stuff we’ll be able to stay together (and that disagreeing on too much of the other stuff will make life pretty difficult and unpleasant for us and everyone around us).
Sometimes I think that this realization, a few years ago, is part of what keeps me single. Because I’ll compromise on a lot. A lot. But I know that deep down inside I can’t and won’t ever try to make a life with someone who has a radically different vision of the world than me. It just seems pointless.
This is a pretty heavy topic. Not the stuff for dates, and not even the kind of stuff I talk about with friends (who talks about their parents’ marriages with friends?). So I figured I’d use this week’s poll to ask, is this the kind of stuff that other people think about? Have you been affected by your parents’ relationship? Do you think the type and quality of your parents’ relationship affected the choices you make now, with your own relationships?
- Yes. I learned a lot from my parents about relationships (from watching them) and it affected me profoundly. (47 votes)
- I’ve thought about them and their relationship(s). But I can’t say it’s had much affect on the decisions I make. (19 votes)
- I never really gave it any thought, so I guess the answer is no. (3 votes)
- Not sure/other. Please explain in the comments. (0 votes)
Tags: blog, parents, Philip Larkin, polls, relationship