Parents and their marriage

What I Have Learned from my Parent's Marriage

From them, I know exactly what I deserve from the people in my life.

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My parent's just celebrated their 22nd anniversary this past July. 22 years of living together, 22 years of working through arguments, 22 years of agreeing how to spend their money, and 22 years of everything in between. Since I was a child, I have witnessed them express love, joy, sadness, grief, and anger in open and honest ways that I assumed all adults did. Now that I have gotten older and am in a relationship currently, I understand that their relationship is rare beyond words. They are truthful, uplifting, selfless, and genuine with each other on all levels, and I have come to love and respect them even more than I did before.

Relationships are never easy. They require a high level of communication skills, putting the one you love before yourself, confidence in your partner, the ability to be vulnerable with someone, and the willingness to put effort into making time for someone you care about. It's a two-way street and without equal efforts, it is hard for things to work out so well. My parents let me in on some of their favorite characteristics about one another and it's safe to say that not only did I tear up a little, but it reassured me of everything I thought to be true of them.


My dad had a lot to say about my sweet mama. Some of his favorite things about her include, "her honesty, compassion, good humor, intelligence and commitment to help others." My mother has always been one with a helping hand. In my article I wrote about her previously, linked here, I talk about how she has always assisted me in anything I have ever done. But this goes further than being a giving mother, this applies to any human she meets. She is always doing something new for friends, co-workers, and others in the community. Her compassion and generosity never stop. My dad also appreciates her humor and intelligence which I think goes hand and hand. Her sarcasm and goofy remarks take me by surprise often and result in us laughing until we cry. My mother's selflessness, kind spirit, and warm personality will always inspire me.

My mom seemed to have similar characteristics she admired about him as well. When my mom sees my dad, she sees someone that is "intelligent, compassionate, problem-solving, family-oriented, fun, funny, and generous to others." There is no one more willing to sacrifice their time and all efforts for their family quite like my dad. He is the brightest one in the room, guaranteed to make all strangers his friends and to leave people better than he met them. I see a lot of my mom's characteristics in my dad often. He is also extremely intelligent in the sense that he is very worldly but also in the concept of solving problems. No matter the case, he can work through any issue he is faced with. I will always admire his confidence within himself, his abilities, and pride in tradition. There is no one in this world quite like Tom Proctor.

As I read their favorite qualities about one another, I begin to recognize just exactly why they fell for one another. The adoration and the balance of character traits they provide each other are simply perfect. I also am able to listen to them discuss a variety of topics, some in agreement and some in disagreement, but both situations including a large amount of respect for one another. They are able to see each other's views and understand the other better because of it. Now, as married adults, it seems simple to have a civil conversation about disagreements within politics, how to cook a meal, or how to deal with a financial situation. But it simply isn't. I've witnessed a large number of adults in my 20 years who can't even be in the same room as someone when they can't see eye to eye. These two make a disagreement a learning experience and grow from it individually as well as together. I will always love that about them.

Besides all of their charming character traits, their similar love for cooking, British TV, and travel have allowed my parents to bond in so many ways. If my parents could move to Italy, learn how to cook authentic Italian food and open up their own Bed and Breakfast, they wouldn't think twice. They seem to work completely in sync when they are whipping up food in the kitchen. And don't get me started on how they didn't stop smiling for an entire month as they traveled Europe together, enjoying every step of the way. Shared passions bring out the best in couples and I've been so blessed to see them thrive together for my entire life.

I have learned how to disagree without yelling, how to compromise without giving in entirely, and how to faithfully love another human being without question. The unconditional love, admiration, and generosity these two exude is everything I could ever want and need from a husband. Not many kids get to have their parents stay together during their life. Not many kids see happy, healthy marriages as they continue to get older and more intuitive. But I can say wholeheartedly that these two wouldn't be the same without the other. They are two peas in a pod and the two halves of my heart. Here is to you Mama and Dad, I love you both more than you will ever know.

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To The Dad Who Didn't Want Me, It's Mutual Now

Thank you for leaving me because I am happy.
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Thank you, for leaving me.

Thank you, for leaving me when I was little.

Thank you, for not putting me through the pain of watching you leave.

Thank you, for leaving me with the best mother a daughter could ask for.

I no longer resent you. I no longer feel anger towards you. I wondered for so long who I was. I thought that because I didn't know half of my blood that I was somehow missing something. I thought that who you were defined me. I was wrong. I am my own person. I am strong and capable and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

In my most vulnerable of times, I struggled with the fact that you didn't want me. You could have watched me grow into the person that I have become, but you didn't. You had a choice to be in my life. I thought that the fact that my own father didn't want me spoke to my own worth. I was wrong. I am so worthy. I am deserving, and you have nothing to do with that. So thank you for leaving me.

You have missed so much. From my first dance to my first day of college, and you'll continue to miss everything. You won't see me graduate, you won't walk me down the aisle, and you won't get to see me follow my dreams. You'll never get that back, but I don't care anymore. What I have been through, and the struggles that I have faced have brought me to where I am today, and I can't complain. I go to a beautiful school, I have the best of friends, I have an amazing family, and that's all I really need.

Whoever you are, I hope you read this. I hope you understand that you have missed out on one of the best opportunities in your life. I could've been your daughter. I could have been your little girl. Now I am neither, nor will I ever be.

So thank you for leaving me because I am happy. I understand my self-worth, and I understand that you don't define me. You have made me stronger. You have helped make me who I am without even knowing it.

So, thank you for leaving me.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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Blocking Toxic Family Members Can Be Just What You Needed

It isn't an easy choice but it can be the most rewarding.

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I haven't written for the Odyssey in quite some time due to this large issue in my life that I feel some people may also need to hear. Watching your parents go through a divorce can be difficult in itself, but what about having to remove one of your parents from your life at the same time? It's something I don't think many people could imagine doing. However, sometimes you are forced into the position between choosing what is best for your mental health or what is expected of you. For me, I realized that I needed to put myself first.

I realized that I am my own person. How I present myself and how I act and what I choose to believe in is how the world perceives me. I was faced with a parent who did not let me be who I am. The way I thought had to be in line with theirs. What I openly spoke about had to be in line with that parent's thoughts. This also, in turn, meant I had to revolve how I was perceived to the world around that parent's family. I had to abide by these societal norms and do what someone else expected of me. I realized that was ludicrous.

This parent was also abusive. They were toxic and manipulative and I could not stand idly by and just take that from them while also trying to become an independent young adult. I was forced to sit and watch one of my parents transform into someone I didn't recognize anymore. I had to watch them ignore any kind of reality checks and continue to feign innocence. I watched one of my parents mentally manipulate people I once called family into believing lies. I kept my head down and shut my mouth and kept taking the abuse. Now I'm at a point where I can confidently say that I am no longer afraid.

I was forced to cut ties with a parent that raised me, cared for me, attended school functions, fixed toys, bought me my first phone. I was forced to chuck out priceless memories for my own sanity. I could not sit idly by and allow myself to endure one more second of lies or abuse. I had to stand up for myself for once in my life and I blocked most of my family. I blocked cousins, aunts, uncles, and godparents. I changed my phone number that I had since 6th grade. I gave no warning and disappeared from my family's lives. Do I have regrets? No. I would do it again if I had to because I am so much stronger than sitting there and taking it.

I will have one less parent at my college graduation, which I am fighting so hard to achieve. I will have one less parent at my wedding. My future children will have one less grandparent. I mope in these thoughts but then I have to remember the other side of things. I will not have an unsupportive parent at my graduation and instead will have those that were there every step of the way. I will lack someone who was toxic at my wedding. My future children will never have to face the same abusive, toxic situations that my parent put me through. It was a difficult decision to make but one that I know in my heart is worthwhile.

Cutting a family member out of your life is difficult enough but cutting a parent is unimaginable. However, no one deserves to go through abusive situations. It shouldn't matter who the person is; if someone is treating you less than you deserve to be treated, they have no use being in your life. You should always be your first priority. You should never have to endure something for the sake of others. I am here to tell you that you are more than that and that cutting out a family member could actually be the best thing for you, even if it's incredibly difficult. I did it and I'm still here. It made me realize who my real family was, and there will never be enough thank you's in the world to show my mother just how much I appreciate her.

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