My Untold Story: 3 Ways to Break the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships in Your Family

BY: - 26 Jan '15 | Marriage

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This is part of a sponsored campaign with Wells Fargo®. All opinions are my own.

In the work that I do here on BMWK, I often come across people that say they don’t know any happily married couples, or they don’t know any married couples at all. They’re so disheartened by the unhealthy relationships they’ve witnessed that they really don’t want to get married.  But these same people still want to have kids.  So whether they’re married or not, they will still need to know how to have healthy relationships…because healthy relationships are the backbone of any family. And strong families are the backbone of any community.

So regardless of what you’ve seen or have not seen growing up, and regardless of your view on marriage, it’s going to be important for you to know how to have healthy relationships. With that being said, here are 3 ways to break the cycle of unhealthy relationships in your family:

  • Get Educated– You can no longer afford to blame your environment, your parents, or your extended family for your relationship results. If you are not having healthy relationships, then it’s time for you to get educated on how to have them.  This can been done by finding mentors, reading a book, taking a class, or finding a friend to talk to.
  • Lead by Example– If you want to break the cycle in your family, then why don’t you take it upon yourself to be the example. Your kids are watching and so are your extended family members. Married or not, your kids can see you get along and co-parent with their mother/father.  Married or not, your kids can see and witness you having healthy romantic relationships, healthy friendships, and healthy relationships with your siblings and other family members.  Old or young, you can be an example to your entire family.  Lamar and I are the youngest of all of our siblings and many of our relatives.  But that doesn’t stop us from providing a positive marital example to our family.
  • Learn Your Story – Whether you know it or not, you have strong relationship examples right there in your own families.  A lot of times you just don’t know it because people are not talking about it.  Talk your parents and your aunts/uncles about the relationship legacies that exist in your family and begin to connect the dots and to fill in the holes of your own story.

 The greatest untold story may be yours.

LamarandRonnieLately, I’ve been inspired by the Wells Fargo: The Untold Stories Collection , a story-telling initiative that offers a glimpse of what it means to be African American today.  And since the greatest untold story may actually be my own story, I called my father to ask him about the marriages in my family. And he told me about my great grandparents, Tommy and Mary Tina Robertson.  What impressed him the most was how they were so dedicated in taking care of their 12 children.  He said they both had clearly defined roles, they never crossed them and they never complained.  He shared that he did not see a lot of affection in the relationships that he saw growing up.  But, he did see a lot of dedication from the husbands and wives in his family.

Lamar and I are determined to leave a legacy of love and healthy relationships for our kids, our family, and our community.

Wow, that’s a strong legacy to learn from and to build upon.  Of course, there are some things that I want to improve as it pertains to the affection.  But I am proud that I can say that I come from people that are committed to staying in relationships and dedicated to raising their families. And it’s a legacy that I am proud to share with my kids.

Please check out `the collection of videos in the Wells Fargo: The Untold Stories Collection to see all of the inspiring untold stories that African Americans from across the country are sharing.

BMWK – What’s your untold story and how can you use it to break the cycle of unhealthy relationships in your family?

 Disclosure: This is a sponsored post brought to you by Wells Fargo. I have partnered with them to spread the word about the Wells Fargo: The Untold Stories Collection. All opinions and stories are my own.

About the author

Ronnie Tyler wrote 523 articles on this blog.

Ronnie Tyler is the co-creator of BlackandMarriedWithKids.com and co-producer of the films Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage, You Saved Me, Men Ain't Boys and Still Standing. The proud mom of 4 has been selected by Parenting Magazine as a Must-Read Mom and is one of Babble's Top 100 Mom Bloggers.

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One thought on “My Untold Story: 3 Ways to Break the Cycle of Unhealthy Relationships in Your Family

  1. Erynn Haskins

    I think having those positive examples of what a marriage is supposed to look like is very beneficial for couples. If those role models aren’t available, educating yourself whether it be guidance from a spiritual leader or counselor can really offer the tools couples need for establishing a solid foundation in their relationship. Great post!

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Can My Cheating Husband Change?

BY: - 27 Jan '15 | Infidelity

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Dear Dr. Buckingham,

I read something that you wrote on BMWK and I just felt so compelled to reach out for advice! I have been married to the man I felt was the one from the first time we met at the age of 14-15. We stayed together for a few years, we both were young and did some cheating in the relationship. My cheating landed me a baby at 17 and my husband who was my boyfriend at the time not being the father! We remained friends even though that was a hard blow. He went to jail off and on, and our relationship was the same off and on.

Somewhere down the line we decided to get married. Still very young, and not understanding really what marriage was, we did it anyway. Unfortunately, he landed himself in jail again and I was alone. I also learned about an affair that he had been having. Needless to say, the relationship ended with little to no communication and with him being in jail for about 6 years.

To speed this long story up, he has been in jail off and on most of his adult life and unfortunately I had another child while he was in jail. We got back together in 2011 after he was released from jail. We got married again and had our first child together. Unfortunately, he went back to jail for 22 months. Now, he is back home and is working 2 jobs. I see a change in him. However, he is no longer feeling the relationship. A few months ago, another woman’s husband informed me that my husband was having an affair with his wife. I found nude pictures and I love you messages between them. From what I found, the affair has been going on for 7 to 8 months.

He admitted to cheating because I caught him, but told me that he is not in love with the woman. We entered into marriage counseling and tried to repair our marriage. I wasn’t totally over the whole thing but I was working on me and us. As we were moving forward, I went through his emails and phone and found some more I love you messages between them. Now I feel like we are back at square one. He says he only lied to protect me and didn’t want to hurt me. He says that he doesn’t love this woman and was only saying that to keep her around to make her feel good. I’m lost and confused. I am not sure if he will ever be honest. I want to work it out and keep my family together but I am not sure if it’s worth it now because he continues to lie about the details. I can’t be sure if he really loved her or not. Can My Cheating Husband Change?

Read Dr. Buckingham’s response on the next page

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About the author

Dwayne Buckingham wrote 191 articles on this blog.

Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham, author of Qualified, yet Single: Why Good Men Remain Single and Unconditional Love: What Every Woman and Man Desires in a Relationship, is a highly acclaimed international clinical psychotherapist, life coach, relationship and resiliency expert, motivational speaker and corporate consultant. He is also the President and Chief Executive Officer of R.E.A.L. Horizons Consulting Service, located in Silver Spring, Maryland. To learn more about Dr. Dwayne L. Buckingham visit his website at www.DrBuckingham.com.

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