Opinion

The relationship lessons I’ve learned over a lifetime

"Breaking up a marriage and family is fraught with danger."

One of the benefits of ageing is the acquiring of wisdom. Don’t we wish we knew back then what we know now?

I can’t say relationships and me have been in any way a flourishing thing. I have learned though, and I’ve learned a few lessons the hard way.

With any relationship, there is always more than one person in it, and it often comes as a surprise to discover that.

That awakening came later in life, when what I thought was the obvious wasn’t. What I discovered was that the issue of assuming was just that. Speculation.

My parents had a relationship of acceptance. They came from the school of thought that marriage was forever and you made the best of it no matter how unhappy you might be. That quality was instilled in me as well. Marriage was forever, and despite my multiple failings, I was determined to hang in there.

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But after 20 years it was plain to me and my children that the best thing for me to do was break away.

Breaking up a marriage and family is fraught with danger. The relationships you have with your children can become strained, but I was lucky in that my children knew my situation and so supported me in what I did.

My relationship with my children has been and still is remarkable.

Our children never do everything we would like them to do but it is important for them to know that you are always supportive of them should they need you.

My children and I have developed very strong bonds and modes of communication which hold us in good stead today.

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It will be interesting for me as time goes by to discover if my grandchildren see me as someone they might talk to or ask my advice.

All I ever did with my children was show an interest in what they did and encourage whenever I could. They have turned out amazing people in their own rights.

I think showing an interest and not judging them but rather developing lines of communication is the best and most effective advice I think I could ever offer. Learning from your adult children can be a most rewarding time for you.

Some relationships work while others don’t. Tell us your experiences!

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