Ask Patty: Does Divorce Run in the Family? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Patty Brisben   
Thursday, 20 May 2010 05:47

Ask Patty: Does Divorce Run in the Family?
With America's divorce rate, there's a 50 percent chance you have divorced parents. But does that mean your relationship will follow the same path to splitsville, too? Our relationship columnist offers insight.

“My parents divorced when I was 16 years old, and ever since then I have no faith in relationships. I don’t take dating seriously because I feel like everyone cheats and no marriage will make it through these days. Is marriage even worth it? Does everyone cheat?”

— Celeste (Blue Ash, Ohio)




This just simply is not a healthy way of thinking. Considering we are often bombarded with negative stories in the media about celebrity indiscretions and infidelity, it’s easy to think there are no faithful couples left in the world, but the reality is that happy, low-drama couples often live contently behind closed doors. The reason we rarely hear about them, though, is because the media doesn’t consider it sensationalistic enough to make the news!


As for looking to your parents, what’s happened in their past marriage or relationships or the mistakes they have made in their lives is just that — their own. Realize that you can’t change their past, but you certainly can learn from it. Whatever you do, remember that they are two unique individuals just as you and your potential partner will be. If you bring those fears and baggage into your future relationships, you run the risk of manifesting the same mistakes with your partner. Sometimes what you fear the most is what you attract, in turn creating a self-fulfilling prophecy.


There is always the possibility that you could get hurt, and there are no guarantees in love. But even if you get burned, you have to be able to pick up the pieces and go on.


The other thing to remember is that it takes two to have a healthy relationship. Too often couples take one another for granted. Do you think if you’re a size 6 you will stay that way without exercising and watching your diet? In most cases this would be very unusual. The same goes for relationships: You have to work at it and always renew your commitment as the days, months and years go by. Many couples give up on working on their relationships together, oftentimes because of low self-esteem or complacency (just to name a couple of reasons). However, if you find someone who is as focused and committed as you are and will communicate with you openly day in and day out, that is a good first step.


Many wonderful books out there also can help you work through feelings of fear and distrust. For Better: the Science of a Good Marriage by Tara Parker Hope is one book that just came out and has some encouraging words about what we can do to keep our marriages healthy . The bottom line is you should never give up believing in or looking for what you deserve.



Patty Brisben -

Patty Brisben is the CEO and Founder of Pure Romance. She is Cincy Chic's relationship columnist, and you can send her an e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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