This Article is About
self help books
christian belief
bitter pill
father and mother
comfort zone
brainstorm
spending time
gurus
disagreement
flesh
twenty years
You're Just Like Your Mother!
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You\'re Just Like Your Mother!

Most married people know that one of the best ways to inflame a disagreement is to pull out those five little words: “You’re just like your mother”.

The truth is often a bitter pill to swallow and the irony is that men often marry a woman because she is just like their own mother.

When it comes to the things we value the highest in life (what I call our ‘values levels’) much of what we carry comes from our upbringing. In short, from our parents.

With this in mind, consider that in marrying your partner what has really happened is that you’ve entwined two different sets of values levels into one household.

Your parents have, in fact, just metaphorically married your inlaws! Now does that get your attention, or what?!

Christian belief teaches: “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” I shouldn’t be surprised that there’s something deeper to learn from that statement!

Many self-help books and gurus will tote the benefits of spending time to balance all areas of your life. The best way of doing this is to know what your values levels are in all areas of your life. What’s important to you, personally, about health, spirituality, career, relationships, and other areas of your life?

Knowing this creates stability. It fosters a balanced comfort zone. An awareness of why some areas of your life may not be working so well as others.

It’s taken me twenty years to realize that there will definitely be a benefit to knowing what the values are for ‘our’ family. Not my husband’s family. Not my family. But OUR family.

I’m guaranteeing if my parents, in-laws and my husband and I sat down to independently do the exercise we would turn in three different lists.

So in the next few days, after the kids are in bed, I am going to ask my husband to sit down for a brainstorm with me. Having shared in all our NLP training I’m lucky to know he will be amiable to the idea.

The question will be: “What’s important to me about my family unit”.

I expect we’ll work on this independently for a while until we come up with more then ten suggestions.

Off the top of my head I’m thinking of things such as:

  • Honesty
  • Love
  • Responsibility
  • A sense of belonging and safety
  • Individuality

We will then share our lists and whittle it to about ten that we are in agreement on. They should then be ranked in order until both my husband and I can be pleased in this portrayal as the basis of much that is important in our family.

The outcome?

I’m envisioning a new, conscious, sense of togetherness in our marriage and a space where our children can thrive and enjoy the positive ethos of our family unit.

What wonderful words to weave into a meaningful artwork for our living space.


Street Talk

What a wonderful idea Heather!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Lacey. Glad you could stop by.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

Can you imagine every family doing just this same exercise? What strength, love and understanding it wld provide to people. I have done this exercise on myself but its good to check in with it every 6 months or so because values can and do change over time.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Absolutely right Carmen. If they didn't change we would probably find any type of change difficult. Values are a strong driving force in our life.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

This is something worth trying. Our kids are grown also but still a major part of our life. It can be trying to fit all the differing lifestyles and priorities into ours but we do our best. I wonder if this would work on an extended family basis or would just get to confusing.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I think you'd have to have a close and co-operative family to do it as an extended family. It might be handy if all families wanted to do it and share the finished product. It could help families understand each other better. For example if one family has extended family high on their values list and another has it very low it would help both to establish a mutually considerate relationship.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Intriguing idea--might try something like this myself, although our kids are all grown and gone off. Perhaps Claire and I should review how we plan to spend the 'kids are grown' years.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

If nothing else, communication is always positive! It doesn't have to get heavy and go into a major goal setting session but if it did it's all helpful to understand where you're going as a couple! Reminds me of that song by Jimmy Buffett where the guy answers a personal ad in the paper and finds out it's his own lady who has advertised for some excitement: "If you like Pina Coladas, and getting caught in the rain. If you're not into yoga, if you have half-a-brain. If you like making love at midnight, in the dunes of the cape. I'm the love that you've looked for, write to me, and escape".

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

I like "Escape'--I sometimes play it on my piano videos on youtube--Until I saw the sheet-music, I had no idea it wasn't called the 'Pina Colada' song--everyone always disses Jimmy Buffet, but I like this song of his--I'm a sucker for a song that tells a cute little story-- like "I Think We're Alone Now" by Tommy James and the Shondells (also available on youtube).

  
  about 1 decade ago

Oh me too. Love that song and many others where the lyrics are cute, catchy or tell a story! I think that's why I have been drawn to country music a lot. My latest favourite (although it's considered a hymn I guess) is His Eye Is On the Sparrow. I think the message is beautiful and, more than that, I love the worlds "I sing because I'm happy, I sing because I'm free". My daughter actually sings her life making up the words as she goes to tell the story of how she's playing or setting the table for dinner! I have vague memories of doing that too.... sigh... sad to grow up!

  
  about 1 decade ago
C4rmen  

Wow never knew what that song meant but totally loved the rhythm!

  
  about 1 decade ago

You're building a strong marriage, family - and sharing! Thanks. Appreciate your article.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thank you Cynthia. Certainly love our family unit!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Really great one Heather!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Maria. Glad you enjoyed it!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Very good read Heather

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks for taking the time again Shawn!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Heather, if all couples could take the time to do what you said and seriously look at what makes the family unit important to them, I bet the divorce rate could be cut down to 25%, or less. Excellent article. Thanks for the heart-felt insight.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Yes, I love the thought of raising an awareness....

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
Barbara9  

i really enjoyed this article

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Thanks Barbara. Glad you enjoyed!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
joe witt  

Good one Heather

Reply
  about 1 decade ago

Cheers Joe!

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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