Do Your Parents Affect Your Adult Relationships?
Bergen Counseling Center co-owner, Dr. Rebecca Bergen, was recently interviewed by www.mydomaine.com for an article series on relationships. The premise of the article asks the question, “How does our childhood relationship with our parents affect our romantic relationships as adults?” Dr. Bergen breaks down how our parents become models for our adult relationships in both healthy and unhealthy ways. In the interview, she explains the influences that our parents relationship with us as children and with each other as parents contributes to our expectations, communication patterns, conflict-styles, and expressions of affection in our adult romantic relationships.
From the article:
“MyDomaine: Is there one parent who impacts this experience more than the other? For example, I read that the relationship you have with your opposite-sex parent predicts the kind of relationships you’ll have with boyfriends or girlfriends in adulthood. Can you explain/elaborate on this idea?
Dr. Bergen: I believe they affect us in different ways. Same-sex parents serve as a model for our own behavior and opposite sex parents are projected into potential partners. This also works in reverse, in the sense that we may search for the opposite of a father who was stoic and uninvolved. Another example, a person may be hyper vigilant to criticism and argue frequently with partners because their same-sex parent had difficulty advocating for themselves and became a “doormat” in the relationship. We tend to want to emulate our parent’s relationship when it is perceived as healthy and positive.“
Read the full article on www.mydomaine.com to learn more about how childhood relationships with our parents influence our adult relationships and even how we pass along those patterns to our own children. All of the therapists at Bergen Counseling Center have experience and training to provide couples counseling in Chicago and are also skilled in exploring family of origin issues. If you are interested in learning more about how we can help, complete the contact form below and one of our therapists will reach out to you personally.