Why did you pick your Spouse?

I bet the answers will surprise some of you. How many of you have talked about ‘falling-in-love.?’ I have a hard time with ‘falling’…you FALL off a horse, you FALL down stairs. The way I see it, FALLING hurts.

So, let’s go back a long way to the days of the caveman. How did they do it? Men looked for strong boned women who would be able to bear and rear strong children, good breasts and wide hips. Women looked for men with big shoulders and muscles who looked like they could slay the saber-toothed tiger and bring fresh meat home every day. It was a primitive level of attraction based on survival.

As we got more developed, appearance began to trump natural selection in the choice of life partners. In these days it is more about a 5-fingered decision. Does your candidate

  • Look good?
  • Feel good?
  • Smell good?
  • Sound good?
  • Taste good?

Must be THE One.

…and yet, half of all relationships end either before or after marriage. Why do you suppose that is so?

Perhaps there is another element most often overlooked and it is the

of your family of origin. Simply, it is the influence of the family in which you were raised. What???

Let me break this down for you. All of us were raised by somebody. In your family of origin you saw a model of how family operates. Some of the models you got were wonderful and others not so much. Some of you were reared in a nuclear family with two loving parents. Others of you were reared in a broken family where the model was less than sterling.

On the other hand, all children are told when they are growing up it isn’t OK to be a little child. How many times do you remember being told NO! Don’t! Stop! While little children are simply exploring how the world works, they are…we were told to STOP. Adapt to the wishes of the Big People. Finally, children get the message.

Children under the age of 10-12  who are asked ‘Can you…sing, draw, dance, etc.? They will tell you ‘sure, watch!’ Those same kids from 13-20 begin giving one-word answers to everything. If it was can you sing, dance, draw, the answer will be ‘No’ and all other questions will be answered in one word.

  • How was school today? FINE
  • What did you do today? NOTHING
  • Who were you with today? FRIENDS
  • Do you want to go with us to the store? NO

And on it goes.

Children finally get the message: First we tell them ‘sit down and shut up’ and then have to spend the rest of their growing up years telling them to ‘stand up and speak up’.

What happened? Children grow up believing they didn’t get it right before and here is the rub on how that impacts your choice of a mate.

Somehow, each of you come equipped with a subconscious set of ‘eyes’ with which you look at potential mates. To this set of ‘eyes’ the message delivered is ‘WOW, I didn’t get it right as a child and this one reminds me of the best and worst characteristics of the people who raised me. Since I didn’t get it right the first time, perhaps I can get it right this time.’

Next time I will help you understand how this impacts your choice of a mate and the smart way to go about dealing with this sometimes painful reality. There is good news.