Q: I’m dating a young lady and we’re getting fairly serious. My issue is that my parents divorced when I was a teenager. I saw what they went through and I’m still trying to get over my own hurt feelings regarding their divorce – and my fear of marriage in general. I don’t want to lose her, and neither of us can wait forever. What can I do to move on in my own relationship?
A: We commend you for recognizing that you’re carrying “baggage” from your parents’ divorce, and especially for being proactive about dealing with it. Let’s break this down into three key pieces.
First, deal with YOU. You need to realistically address your own “junk” and work on becoming a healthy person, regardless of whether you’re in a relationship or not. That may well involve professional counselling to process your past hurts; you can start by calling our Family Support Services at 03-7954 7920 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Second, deal with HER. Let her know what’s going on with you – talk about the hesitation, fear, and emotional walls you’re working on overcoming (it’s about your parents’ divorce, not your present relationship). Tell her what she can do to support you. The more you include her and provide honest information, the stronger your connection can become.
Finally, deal with the RELATIONSHIP. When the time is right, get good premarital counselling. Eighty per cent of couples who get at least 6-8 hours of quality premarital counselling
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