Are you one of those parents who did not have great role models for marriage as you were growing up? Did you have to discover some of the skills for sustaining an intimate relationship on your own? Me, too.
And as you know if you have read my Author page, it took a huge whack upside the head for me to catch on.
So, what would I teach a daughter if I had one still in middle school or high school now, whether straight or Lesbian? Here are some of the key things:
- How to end arguments without becoming a doormat or a bitch
- What to do when blindsided by unexpected, distressing behavior from a mate
- How to handle not getting what you know you need
- How to stay safe from abuse without analysing every action for signs of danger
- What to do when your marriage seems unfair, especially over money and chores
- Why looking for a soul mate to marry may actually reduce your chances of staying married
- What is wrong with seeking your friends' support in a dispute with your mate
You do not need to teach any of these as marriage lessons. You can teach them to look for Third Alternatives in their disputes with siblings or friends. You can teach them how to build a support network and reach out to it for ideas on meeting all their needs. You can teach them that fair is something to be negotiated, not unilaterally decided. You can teach them to test other assumptions when looking to explain a distressing interaction with anyone. And you can encourage a growth mindset, rather than a fixed one.
As a grandmother of two, I can tell you the benefits of having a happily married child and an open, unthreatened relationship with your grandkids' other parent make it worth whatever extra effort it takes.