Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Diversity in Families

I am taking a summer class on diversity in our society. This includes race, ethnicity, and gender. When families come to me for help in their relationships, I try to find out as much about their background as possible in a few minutes.

How we were raised affects how we act or react to situations. This includes how big the family was, our place in the family, religion, types of work our parents did, how we were disciplined, etc. It is a fact that couples from similar backgrounds and with the same core values stay together longer and has fewer arguments.

Yes, I heard that! I agree that often opposites do attract, but the more alike you are, the better chance you have of staying together. I cannot stress that often enough.

What to do if you have a committed relationship. Take time to talk seriously (without the television on or other distraction). This is not a time to argue it a time to explore. Define the words you use.

Case in point. Last week, a couple talked to me because she said he lied to her. When they talked about having a family, she said she wanted a lot of kids and he said he did too. The problem, she came from a family of 11 kids and he an only child. The three kids they have are not many to her and a lot to him. They did not define what “many” meant to each of them. She finally was convinced he had not lied to her, but she still wants three or four more. He says they cannot afford to raise more than they have.

Until next time,

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