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Parent-Child Marriage

How many of us know friends or family that are living a parent-child marriage?  Maybe you’re living in this type of marriage and don’t know the solution.  If you’ve watched the reality show “Jon and Kate Plus Eight” you might understand this type of a relationship.  In essence one spouse assumes the parent position while the other spouse assumes the child position.  The “parent” partner typically nags, prods, controls, dictates, scolds, and makes most of the decisions.  The “parent” can be emasculating at times and cause the “child” partner to harbour resentment.  The “child” in turn can be rebellious, immature, passive-aggressive, and irresponsible.  I work with many couples every week that portray this dysfunctional pattern.  Can you imagine being married to your parent or child?  The obvious solution is for both parties to move into the adult position.  This movement requires acceptance of their roles, motivation to change, insight into their own issues, and strategies for change.  It also requires each party to stop blaming and start changing.  If you can identify with this dysfunctional dynamic, check next week’s blog to discover strategies for change.  Awareness is the first step to change.

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