This picture captures my family life when I was a child. My parents were either arguing or not talking at all, and I was left sad, lonely, isolated and scared. They didn’t seem to care about me, or even notice me, let alone the way I felt. People forget that unhappy relationships affect children too.
My mother then went on to persuade me to take her side, making me fearful of my father. I thought he was a bad person, and someone to be fearful of. I was confused and lonely. No-one on my side, feeling I had to protect my mother from this dreadful man.
That was until I was 15, and my dad had a nervous breakdown. Today he would have been diagnosed with PTSD, the effects of what he had experienced during the 2nd World War. At that point, I felt really bad and turned on my mother, for at that point I felt she had contributed to my father’s mental state. They had an unhappy relationship, but my relationtship with them was an unhappy one too.
A broken family – no communication – no love.
When I think of my childhood, I can’t remember happy times, it’s just filled with ‘if only’. Memories of parents at war with each other. Always on my guard, checking if the coast was clear to come out of my shell and relax. It felt like I was wlaking on egg shells most of the time.
That’s why I am passionate about helping couples avoid this situation, because not only does it affect them, but also their children. If you feel you are going down that slippery path, I beg you to take action, and if you can’t do it for yourself, then do it for your children, because you are their role model, and I’m sure it’s not what you want for them.
So if you notice you are in a cycle of continual bickering, standoffs or apathy in your relationship – don’t wait until it’s too late. Unhappy relationships affect children too, take action now.