Role models

BY: - 23 Apr '09 | Relationships

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Where do our first impressions of love look like? For most people they would say it comes from family.

Now, it’s not to say that if your parents were divorced that you will get divorced as well, or that your parents’ 30-year marriage is in the future for you. But we do take those lessons learned and apply them in our own marriage, whether it’s done consciously or not.

For all the parents out there, looking at your marriage right now, if your kids turned 25 overnight, what would they say about you? Would they say that their parents had a rock-solid marriage, with a few bumps in the road, but for the most part they showed what true love is? Or would they say that love is for suckers, that you can’t be truly happy with someone long-term ““ look at mommy and daddy?

Your marriage is a legacy to your children. You can show them how to be successful or give them a front row seat to Disastrous Marriages 101.
Could this be part of what’s plaguing our society today? The lack of enduring relationships to draw strength and inspiration from? Is it harder to cultivate a loving relationship for yourself if you’ve never witnessed up close? Is it easier to leave instead of working it out if that’s all you know?

Let us know your thoughts. What legacy are you leaving to your children?

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2227 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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8 WordPress comments on “Role models

  1. KJ Taiwo, the Kid Reporter

    Talk about role models Uncle Lamar and Aunty Ronnie, have you checked the poll on my blog? Gotta run to school. Join me on twitter. I will be back home at lunchtime. You know elementary schools in Canada don’t have cafeteria. You bring your lunch or go home next door to eat hot lunch. I will twitter new updates. twitterdotcomslashKJkidreports

    KJ Taiwo, the Kid Reporters last blog post..IMAGINE ME GOING TO SCHOOL ONLINE?

  2. Allygyrl702

    As a child of divorced parents I can definitely identify with my feelings and motivations towards romantic relationships being shaped by my parents marriage or lack thereof. I didn’t see a lot of love in the house. I didn’t see a lot of affection and I think that is why to this day I am not an affectionate person. I have an auto-defense mechanism which I think helps contribute to my “angry black woman syndrome.” I find it very challenging to to make relationships work while carrying the baggage of growing up in a home with a love-less marriage and eventual divorce. I would say if two parents love each other to make it work at all costs. Some people say you shouldn’t stay together for the kids but I say to that, “Aren’t your children worth it?” Not just staying together but making a relationship work for your children. However if the two parents don’t love each other it would definitely be more beneficial to the children to see happy parents who love them more than they hate each other.

  3. Mhlia

    My mom was a single parent and didn’t get married until after I was out of college. My husband’s parents, while still married, don’t have a relationship that either of us want to emmulate…

    And yet, I’m not worried about our (future) children. When we got married a couple of years ago, our wedding photographer commented that we did a “nose thing” quite often (sort of an eskimo kiss prior to a real kiss… I know, TMI). But we were laughing last night, as we did the nose thing before heading our seperate ways for a little while. My husband asked if I thought we’d be doing it forever. My response was that we’d better! He then said to me, “you know, our kids are going to hate that when they’re teenagers. But they’ll hope for it when they’re older.”

    And I couldn’t agree more. And it is those kinds of things that I hope our kids pick up… And that we’ve created on our own. Even not knowing good marriages close up when kids ourselves. Granted, we were “older” we met and married (for the midwest anyway); sometimes I think you learn how you want to behave in a relationship by watching others, sometimes you learn how you *don’t* want to act, and sometimes you just have to imagine the experience you want and create it for yourself. I can’t speak for every relationship, but in mine it would be far far harder for me to walk away than to work it out.

    Okay, stepping off my soapbox now. 🙂

  4. Tracy J.

    My husband and I thoroughly enjoy time with our children. Currently, we are coaching their Tball team, we take them on trips that are kid friendly that provide them with learning experiences and a lot of fun, and we have a number of traditions that we participate in, that they really look forward to. We spend holidays with our families, and we express how much we love them all the time. We have cuddle time in the morning, before they get get ready for school and we also cuddle at nights about 3 times a week to read together.

    We are obviously big on education and achievement to the best of their abilities. In order to receive rewards, they come up with a plan to earn them (keeping their room clean, getting good reports from school, helping around the house, etc.). We actively participate in our church, and teach them about faith whenever possible. This is the legacy we are trying to leave our children. Faith, Family, Friends, and Fun!

  5. cm

    I’ve been married for 15 years and I have a 7 year old and a 3 month old. I had become so consummed with my husband’s betrayals and how damaging it was to our marriage and then I got a wake up call. My 7 year told me I was mean, mad and angry and didn’t love her, she stated that I was always yelling at her. I didn’t realize my relationship with her dad had truly impacted her self-esteem and the way she views herself. I decided to pull back emotionally from her father in order to save my daughters. He is only capable of being a “provider”, not a husband or a father I understand that now. I’ve decided to divorce him mentally and all that he does will no longer effect me or my child. I have asked GOD to remove my from this marriage is a healthy and safe way and to deliver me from the bondage of bitterness and anger and unforgiveness. My babies mean the world to me and it’s sad to have to leave a spouse to be able to give my girls what they need from their mother. He was never my bestfriend or my protector of the heart, so I must make the tough decision to leave, it’s hard because he is all I know, but then again the way I am is all my daughter knows and she and her baby sister is the one I have to protect now. I changed from calling myself the flower child not letting anything bother her to an out right anger, bitter, wife.

  6. Lori

    My folks have been married well over forty years. For me, they were role models in ways that I didn’t readily appreciate or recognize until I was older. Looking back, I can remember all of those Saturday afternoons when they’d me and my brother out to play while they took a “nap.” It didn’t dawn on me until my 20s that those weren’t naps (LOL).

    Now that I’m older, sometimes I’ll tease them when I visit in the afternoon and they take longer than ususal to answer the door. Typically, my mom will greet my wink and grin-filled, “What took y’all so long? I didn’t interrupt anything, did I?” with a dramatic roll of the eyes. But my dad’s chuckle says it all (smile).

    Loris last blog post..

  7. Anonymous

    Hi, my parents were married for 30+ years and my dad was my role model. He had great qualities about him; he had a sense of humor, God fearing, he was a hard working provider, faithful to my mom, very conservative with finances…now the negatives; he was an alcoholic, abuser(physically/verbally), hypocrite, angry, blunt, selfish, close minded. I don’t know how my mom put up with it…it would be diff now a days. But they still have hidden issues like lack of communication for one. Now I unconsciously mimic my father’s bad habits in my 6 years of marriage+ almost 11 year relationship with my wife. It really puts a strain on us to progress because my issues always resurface. Issues like Me being selfish and inconsiderate esp with time(not money), lack of understanding, anger, negative, emotionally selfish, forgetful(doesn’t help me learn from my mistakes). I’m no alcoholic and i don’t physically abuse my wife or our 1 year old, but this is bad enough.I feel sick to my stomach when I subconsciously abuse my wife’s trust after making the same promises. I wish I had a more positive role model the only other role models I had were horny men that taught me how to be good in bed, but I guess that only get a man so far…
    Thx for reading

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Deal Breakers

BY: - 28 Apr '09 | Relationships

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by Tara Pringle Jefferson

When I was younger, I had a whole list of things that my man would never get away with. Some were serious, others not so much.

If he stopped being ambitious? I was out of there.

If he started smoking? Don’t forget your lighter on the way out, buddy.

If he stopped complimenting me? I was gone.

If he ever cheated? Bye-bye!

But since I’ve been married, my deal-breaker list has gotten quite slim. My sister asked me the other day would I stay if my husband cheated on me. I said that I was pretty sure I would. (Don’t go getting any ideas now, okay, Mr. Jefferson?) It would take a whole lot of praying, a pretty long separation period, and a strong commitment on both our parts. I wouldn’t like it, wouldn’t want to, but I’m in it for the long haul.

I’ve realized that I didn’t get married because it was convenient, or it was for my sole benefit. I got married because I wanted to walk hand in hand with this man for all the days of my life. It will never be perfect, we won’t always get along, and yes, of course there will be a few times where we are on the brink of divorce. But what’s important is that we always remember what we mean to each other.

Have you changed your mind about what’s acceptable to you? Did your opinion on deal breakers change once you got married?

About the author

Lamar Tyler wrote 2227 articles on this blog.

Lamar Tyler is co-creator BlackandMarriedWithKids.com. He also is the co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing.

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