Marriage according to the Shrunk

My wife has named our children the shrunks-her diminutive for shrink! My nine year old son justified this title when he came up with the following insight. We were lying together one night, after he had sat in on a lecture that I had given on relationships. He started to tell me that he knew the cause of marital tension. I listened as you can imagine with great interest.

He said that the problem is that the one spouse has been out in the working world the whole day, and returns home tired and irritable and hoping that their spouse will be nice to them, sooth and support them. The problem is that the other spouse is feeling exactly the same way. The resultant frustration and disappointment leads to arguments and tension when actually all that they each wanted was love from the other. Talk about from the mouths of babes comes the truth. When the babe is a shrunk, the truth tends to be very personal.

Training for marriage actually begins at birth. Children do not characteristically verbalise or discuss their observations about marriage that may not even be conscious for them. Nevertheless they are from their earliest life witnessing and experiencing interactions and the effects of those interactions between their parents. From this they learn what is means to be a spouse, what it means to be a husband or a wife, a loving respectful and involved partner or an indifferent or worse, an abusive hostage taker.

What children live influences the way they perceive the world, the values that they eventually adopt and the choices that they end up making in their own lives. Giving children the experience of a loving, mutually supportive marriage where loyalty, devotion and respect are taken for granted values if the greatest gift that one could give a child. Self esteem I hear many of you say is the greatest gift that you can give a child. I could not agree more. The parents marriage however is one of the foundation stones in the formation of a child’s self-esteem

Each parent is part of the child’s very being, not only genetically but also psychologically. Ones identity and sense of self is integrally tied in with ones history, that begins with ones parents. When parents love each other and are unified, the child is at peace with herself, whole and integrated. When parents are at odds with each other, the child is torn, in conflict over who they are allowed to love, to be loyal towards and with whom they should identify. Loving marriages create loving homes that create children who are able to love themselves as others.

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