Having trouble in your relationship? It’s not quite meeting your needs? The first place to look is your family of origin. How did your family operate?
For people who grew up in alcoholic families (or families with dysfunction), typically the unspoken rules of the family were:
1. Don’t Talk – don’t talk about the real problem that Dad is drunk (or absent or abusive). Don’t be honest about what is really going on at home.
2. Don’t Trust – don’t trust that Mom and Dad will follow through on what they say. Sure they promised they would be at your choir concert but then Mom got drunk, picked a fight with Dad and he left the house disgusted. So once again, no one is there to support you. But doesn’t that always happen?
3. Don’t Feel – of course you can’t bring a friend home because you never know if mom or dad will be drunk and embarrass you in front of your friend. But you don’t really feel anything. After all, that’s just the way it is.
Now, you might say, “But I am an adult now. That’s in the past.” Maybe, maybe not. Unless, we are aware of these past patterns (and sometimes even if we are), we unknowingly institute these same rules in our current relationships. And we end up feeling unhappy.
If you think this might be you, one resource is Claudia Blackwell’s book “It will Never Happen to Me”. Change the rules in your relationships – Talk, Trust, Feel.