Are you worried about marrying someone like one of your parents? It’s common for people to fear partnering with someone like their mom or dad, particularly if that relationship was strained or difficult growing up. If that’s your worry, then what steps can you take to ensure you are marrying a person who is a good fit for you?
Wanting to avoid marrying someone who reminds you of a parent is not unusual. But it pays to put things in perspective and get clear on what you really want in a spouse, and in a relationship.
Consider What Qualities You’re Looking For in a Spouse
There are many reasons why you might not want to marry someone who is just like one of your parents. Because of this, you’ll want to pay special attention to the people you spend time dating. You may even want to enlist a trusted friend or counselor for accountability as you move forward.
Why do you want to avoid marrying someone like your mom or dad? Consider journaling or talking through the details. There are specific qualities you may want to avoid. If so, write them down. You can also write down a list of qualities that you are looking for in a spouse.
If you move your point of reference from the person of your mom or dad and onto a paper list, that will also give you more objectivity when considering a potential spouse. Use your lists as a loose reference to remind yourself what you value in a potential partner. Staying focused on the kind of person you want to spend your life with will help you make wise decisions as you meet and date other people.
Seek Out Counseling
Working with a licensed counselor could help you sort out reasons why you don’t want to marry someone like your mom or dad. The objective, third-party viewpoint a professional counselor can offer will pay dividends as you work to discover the specific qualities you want to avoid, plus the ones you want to look for. You’ll be able to make the time and space to truly think about what you want from a marriage, which will give you clarity as you date.
Focus on Shared Values
When you and your spouse begin a life together, you’re both going to bring good and bad elements from your families of origin. Your parents will have had a distinct impact on each of your childhoods. That impact will inform your outlook on life, as well as your expectations and values.
Right now, you may be looking for someone who is nothing like your parents were. However, don’t let comparisons guide your decision making alone. Rather than just seeking out someone who is the polar opposite of your parents, consider what your values are. Then, look for someone who shares those values and envisions a future that aligns with your vision.
Your parents likely did the best they could with what they had at the time–and you probably learned a lot in the process. Even if you’re actively trying not to marry someone who reminds you of your mother or father, you probably still gathered some valuable lessons through your relationship with them. Take a moment to cultivate gratitude for the things you’ve learned, then use that to inform your future relationships as you prayerfully search for a spouse.
If you need help navigating dating and relationships, then check out our book, Real Relationships. It’s a practical guide that will help you make well-informed decisions as you seek out the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Get your copy here.
Did you marry someone that reminded you of a parent? Why or why not? Leave us a comment below and let us know.