I was talking to pal about her difficulty finding a partner.
“You haven’t had the greatest role model as far as being in a happy relationship with a man goes,” I said. “Look at your mother. Her priority is to have, and preferably to have more than other people. A man is irrelevant to her for the most part.”
“I know. She doesn’t even care if she likes the guy. Her focus is on having more all the time. She wants as much as possible and being happy is not even in the equation.”
“That’s true. and she knows this about herself.”
“Yeah. She wants to be able to buy things, this is her deal and she’s not shy about it. But now you come along and you actually want to form a relationship with a man so where to start is like a a big mystery. They may as well be dropping you off in a foreign land. All you know about men is that you should get one so the neighbors don’t talk. The man is like a lawn ornament, I guess. So now you actually want to relate to a man in an intimate way. It’s a big puzzle, seeing as you’ve never seen it done.”
Growing up, what was modeled for you as far as male/female relationships go? Can you see this play in your life?
I complained to my mother once that she and my dad gave me an unrealistic view of marriage because I never saw them disagree. They agreed not to fight in front of us kids – and held to it. Consequently when I married a fiesty Irishman who yelled a lot I didn’t know how to handle it!! My parents would embarrass us kids by holding hands and kissing each other right in front of us – and other people. I divorced my angry ex a long time ago and was single for 13 years, but have found someone in the past year who is truly a match and we hold hands, kiss in front of the “kids” and haven’t had a cross word yet. I’ll never make 50 years like my parents almost did (my dad died just before) because I’m almost 60, but I’m finally modeling my parents relationship. I never knew it could be this easy – I am blessed.
My parental experience is a blessing and a bust! I should be traumatized and running from any relationships, but if they have done anything for me, they have showed me what I DONT want in a relationship. I know exactly what I will and will not stay in a relationship for. Their problems have taught me compassion and tenacity, and also have made me gratefull for my marriage and how it has been so far. It’s sort of odd, but I literally cousel my parents. I have always felt like the mother of our family, holding it together.
On the other had, I have a friend who claims she has NEVER seen her parents argue…..and she’s a total mess in relationships! I guess you just never know what the damage will be!
I really try to emulate my parents’ model in some ways: they communicate constantly (every morning before they get up and before they go to sleep, the house would vibrate from the sound of them talking).
They give each other a lot of freedom to do their own thing (go for walks alone, read for hours–they’re senior citizens and don’t work anymore).
They presented a unified front for the kids, however this backfired. My mum had serious mental health issues when we were growing up which played out into how we were raised and disciplined, and Dad backed up every decision she made, no matter how unreasonable (ie. no sleepovers, no birthday parties, no school dances, no boys, no movies, no school photos, no Three’s Company, etc etc).
In the era he’s from (he was born in the 1920s and had what he has called an idyllic childhood) the mother instinctively KNOWS how to raise children properly and so her decisions are assumed to be RIGHT (my Mum is an Aries so she assumes her decisions are right, too).
It was like having a madwoman at the helm–my Dad loves my Mum so much he ignored her troubles having 4 children under the age of 5 years old—like, hello? Can you change a diaper or wash a plate every now and then? Instead he went through it starry-eyed, wow Mum can do everything and then some. Of course, when she finally got therapy, he was all ‘Wow, Mum’s so amazing, she knew to get therapy!’ (He’s a late degree Libra with a Taurus Moon)
Like I mentioned before, I was constantly being warned that men were going to ruin me if I let them get close. However I had male friends from childhood onwards, and still do. I am in a very intense but stable long-term relationship and try to communicate like my parents do.
One thing I love about my parents’ relationship is that my Dad never minds other men chatting up my Mum. She’s very beautiful and stylish and even though she’s almost 70 it happens constantly and Dad honestly feels flattered by it in some way, I think in a ‘This woman everyone wants is mine’ sort of way?
I like the trust aspect of that. I need to be trusted by my partner or I’m out the door. I do see this relationship play out in my life, but I’ll tell you, I think my Dad’s Libra/idealism has done him a serious disservice in terms of perpetuating my Mum’s problems. I wish he’d stepped up to the plate more often when she was really in mental trouble.
Oh, Becca, I am sorry. I didn’t know both your parents had died. 🙁
oh my my my.
my mother doesn’t want a partner. she wants someone who will do what she tells him to.
he doesn’t exactly. there’s a nasty passive aggressive undercurrent going on. and rebellion against authority.
gave me all sorts of weird ideas. probably the mars seventh thing, but i want a partner who will stand up to me when i’m pushing their boundaries and let me know in clear terms. i have little respect for men who let women push them around. which for awhile extended to all “nice guys” which really didn’t set me up for good things.
yeah, anyway, i’ve had a lot of work to do with this.
but my grandparents- they were so giddy fairy tale in love all the way to the end, when grandpa died. and beyond for all i know. and they had their rough patches, but they always respected each other. i don’t see that with my parents. so the elders give me faith in love where my parents don’t. funny, hm?
Ugh, total repressed power struggle. I have a shitload of planets in cardinal signs, so of course I took that modeling and ran with it. In my defense, I didn’t know any better. Luckily, after a few years of being married that ran its course.
I don’t think my parents really respect each other, but they’re getting more mellow as time goes on. Whether that’s growth or sheer exhaustion is anyone’s guess.
What I learned from my parents is that the will to power is something that is going to get expressed one way or another. What I learned for myself is how to express it in a way that improves me. That the real power is in owning my own shit.
What I learned from my parents:
SETTLE! My mom was 20 and dating two guys, neither of whom she LIKEliked like she was supposed to. She was getting to be an “old maid,” so when the one she liked better proposed, she said yes.
I grew up thinking that once you pass the newlywed stage, nobody actually wants to BE romantic with their spouse any more. I am shocked every time that someone actually cares whether or not their husband comes home and looks forward to seeing them, even after x number of years.
I got raised to go out with whoever asked, no matter how much I didn’t like them- hey, in my family that might mean you marry them. To this DAY I feel horrendous guilt at not wanting to date someone who likes me (that I don’t like at all, and I hated all the dates, and I never “changed my mind”), AND horrendous guilt if I say no. Right now I don’t know how to respond, at all, to a guy who asked me out that I am not interested in. I literally cannot say no, or yes. I don’t want to have to give either answer and then deal with the consequences.
I learned that screaming at people all the time is “just what you do.” I always thought my parents would get divorced, but they never did.
In my brain, love is temporary, traps you, and your only option for settling down is with someone you don’t like. Whee! Thanks, Mom and Dad! It makes me laugh when I read stats about how people with intact families do better in marriage- bullcrap. I don’t know how to have a marital relationship any beter than a kid from a divorced family might.
My parents have an intense relationship, they are like cat and dog, but they can’t live without each other.
my father has venus in scorpio conjunt saturn and I think that describes it well. It’s pretty messed up, but it’s their thing, not mine fortunatly.
The thing I’ve inhereted from seeing this is the notion that marriage is about love more then about what others will approve. But as I grow older my venus in saturn seems to be winning over. maybe it because of saturn transit to the 7th now. I have leo ruling the 7th so hopefully love will be there just the same.
People I fall in love with madly just don’t love me back. so I learn to love people that love me and that I think deserve to be loved. this is how saturn plays out in my relationships…
typo: “as I grow older my venus in capricorn” instead of “venus in saturn” hahaha . it’s trine saturn though.
about my fathers venus describing their relationship I could add it’s intense and limiting in many ways. but it’s their energy. mom has sun conjunct saturn. and mars in the 7th, he is very abusive verbally at times. I think he has borderline personality disorder. they’ve been on the verge of divorce a few times but decided they fit together. That’s when I realized it’s not realistic to put myself in other people’s shoes anymore. People have VERY different needs and things that make them happy. may they be free to follow it, and I free to not worry or feel sorry for them.
Jennifer, I had the same experience growing up too! I was quite surprised reading your comment as I thought no one could possibly have grown up like that but I guess I’m not the only one. The only difference is that since I saw my parents settle…I learned that I never want to spend my life with someone I don’t love with everything I’ve got.
After seeing their life, I’ve learned that it’s better to take a chance and play your cards in love and lose, than to be left standing on the sidelines never having experienced love. A life that’s come and gone and missing it’s soul.
I follow my dreams only and do whatever I have to to make them come true. I can’t even imagine dating someone unless their was a strong mutual attraction and the potential for love. I say no quite a lot, and don’t feel guilty because I know that I am saving them the experience of my parents relationship. Better to be honest and deal with the consequences than to be their partner in an empty, loveless relationship. Everyone has the right to be with someone who genuinely loves them! I’ve learned it is far better to be alone and happy than to be partnered and miserable. I never compromise my freedom to choose, and I’ve learned it’s quite ok to ask for what you want instead of accepting whatever comes your way. Result? I take more chances, receive/give more rejections, and get more of what I really want than others. Growing up I never thought it would be possible to have what I wanted, only what others chose to give me, but now I see differently. I have tasted real love and happiness and have learned to tolerate the risk and potential for loss that accompany it. My parents are shocked at some of the things I’ve accepted and some of the things I’ve passed over, but they are equally surprised by all the things I’ve managed to get in life that they never thought possible for me (or for themselves for that matter). You have to work up the courage to go and get what you REALLY want 🙂
The relationship I have now is based on love and I would never accept anything else. It has come with all kinds of problems and obstacles, has brought pain as well as happiness, but it has transformed me in a way that only love can. I guess I could have chosen someone less complicated and settled, avoided a lot of pain and frustration, but then I would have what my parents have. Instead, I’ve given up the comfort of avoiding pain and problems, and I’ve gotten love beyond my dreams. It has been worth every sorrow it took to get it.
Ana, wow. I’m really struck by this. Nicely put!
A strange bit there. I saw my parents as eachother’s friends, workmates, helpers and lovers until I was 15 they began to fight like crazy (never saw even an intimiation of this previously). Then they had the nastiest divorce on record. The judge even sent a letter of apology to my mother years later for how he treated me in the divorce proceedings.
They both remarried, immediately, the first person they dated after the divorce and both have been happily married to their new partners for many years hence.
The interesting thing to me is the difference in their relationships now compared to their relationship with eachother.
My father became ultra emotional with his second wife (she’s quite manipulative – but that’s another topic). My mother became pampered and quite a bit more laid back in her relationship.
Neither have the type of relationship they had with eachother. I’ve not seen too many major fights with their new partners, with the exception of when my stepmother doesn’t get her way.
I guess what I got was that there are a WIDE range of partnering and loving. Attitudes about money, time and obligations changed between their two relationships.
The only real problem that they left me with is a fear of divorce because it was so gawd-awful. But I would say that divorce is a good thing in so many cases – my parent’s just came out of the blue.
I guess I learned other, stronger, lessons about relationships from my parents moreso in how they were “in the world” rather than just with eachother.
Just as a sidenote: I’ve never settled and never will. I’ve got friends who’ve settled. They’re miserable and pick at eachother. It’s difficult to watch. I’d rather be single than settle, which is why I turn down the guys that aren’t actually going to partner with me.
My mom and dad are comfortable with each other and only fight when it comes to me. Their relationship is pretty relaxed which, after all those Miami Rhapsody type movies about marriages failing gives me hope for actual marriage. My mom married late though this wasn’t thought of as a good thing in Russian culture and I’ve grown up very strongly advocating later marriage and not really compromising yourself for anybody. Plus I’ve heard plenty of horror stories about early marriage. I guess I never really thought of marriage as a problem until I watched romantic comedies.
Well, that’s an interesting blast from the past…4 years later and a new relationship as well as a year+ of therapy under my belt, much of what I wrote is the same, but.
I’m now in a relationship with a man I spend heaps more time with, which I love. We socialize together, which feels fantastic. The communication with Leoman is deep. And it goes in both directions, LOL.
One thing I’m grateful for was my Dad being loudly, incessantly vocal that if a man were to raise a hand to us, we were to leave instantly and not look back.
Blast from the past for me as well (Kathy). That guy broke up with me earlier this summer so I guess I’m not modeling my parents any more. I do envy the few people I know that are still crazy about each other after many years together. Saturn in Libra is breakups – my youngest daughter’s bf walked in on her husband and their 18 year old neighbor. He just turned 40 – says she is his “soul mate”. She’s a child!! They have three girls including a newborn. His parents divorced and he had a stepfather. My ex’s daughter wants to leave her marriage after 10 years and four children. Her mom is currently on her fourth marriage. My ex was her (and she his) third. It’s very sad.
Sorry about the break up:(
both my parents have neptune i 1st house, and lovely as they are, things sort of slip their minds.
always playful, never an argument, suddenly the house was full of their various lovers, they had forgotten to tell us kids and the rest of the world that they had divorced..
they stayed together 11 years after the divorce with my dad’s new wife and my mum’s series of lovers.
if there’s something i’ve learnt, then it’s acknowledging the challenge of operating between the need for safety and the urge for development, trying to be pretty honest towards own needs and priorities while not hurting the partner. not the easiest thing in the world..
I am experiencing things in a very similar way to my family. I think just my mom didn’t mean to give birth to a gremlin.
The difference is my mom has a healthy moderate ego and sense of pride and I have a huge ego and insecurity and laziness. My mom’s insecurity or self criticism is there but less ego and hunger for validation.
I’m kind of like the mom in that post. Hungry to decorate my lawn with admirers even if it’s obviously silly and counterproductive.
What I want from my mom is validation and empowerment.
Also, I am the cardinal side of the coin and my mom is not. She has taught me to flow around struggle but it doesn’t feel authentic
I’m being cagey but basically I think some people have one match. This is my family’s way. I just struggle against it because I want lots of admiration and attention I don’t get and can’t handle not having my cell phone blowing up with texts. I guess I’m being contrary after my mom has told me this obsession with finally not being a wallflower doesn’t matter. I have certain barriers that my family does not.