- Dysfunctional meaning—family members who communicate abusively (such as condescending put-downs, yelling, trash-talking, gossiping, or blaming) —parents who are unethical, who regularly break time agreements—who are sexist, racist, bigoted, argumentative or whose addiction(s) affect the aliveness, well-being, and happiness of others. Note: It's not that they behave this way it's that family members seldom, if ever, verbally acknowledged their abuse to each other. For example: "I get that what I just said didn't feel good."
The same goes for introducing a date to your single parent who still blames and badmouths his/her ex for the divorce. I.e. "He was abusive." "She cheated on me." "He divorced me." (all blame statements). In other words, you are an enabler who, along with your divorced blaming parent, will eventually, unconsciously, be psychically teaching your child to blame.**
To not tell a date (upfront) about a prior abusive relationship of yours (your addiction to deceiving, to abusing and to being abused) or your dysfunctional family, dooms a prospective partner to a relationship with you with little or no ecstasy or joy. Read: Should I tell boyfriend my history of abuse?
An addiction to blaming is as difficult to cure as is an addiction to drugs. —Dr. Drew Pinsky
And the biggie—you'll be submitting your grandchildren to abusive grandparents who will negatively impact your grandchild. One interaction with an abusive relative is all it takes for a child to be imprinted negatively—often, for life.
When you introduce (submit) a prospective partner to parents of whom you are not proud—parents who are stuck in mediocrity, parents who are abusive to each other and you—it ain't love. To do so forces your "new loved one" to compromise their integrity (to withhold certain thoughts) so as to ensure your affections. You already know that your family will eventually treat any possible partner of yours as they do you and each other.**** This is abusive, even worse, it would be premeditated.
If your family is dysfunctional, if they don't communicate openly, honestly, and spontaneously, through to mutual satisfaction, then, any prospective partner will find themselves withholding thoughts when they are around you and your parents—they'll do this because you are addicted to deceit (you will choose to not inform dates about your dysfunctional family). No one has modeled for you how to create a safe space for a date to verbalize their considerations about your family. Your new date will compromise their integrity just to please you and to make a "good" impression. Later, when your date returns home, his/her parents will ask, "What are they like?" Your date will find themselves badmouthing your parents behind yours and their backs.
- For example: "It's pretty bad—the house is a mess. His parents are rude and argumentative; they yell a lot. His father is an angry couch potato who communicates condescendingly to his wife. His mother acts like a powerless blaming wimp who in fact causes the abuse. I didn't see/hear any expressions of love between them. And he, my date, non-verbally empowers his parents in abusing each other. There's lots of strained laughter about things that are not really funny; there's no joy or happiness between them. My date was late; I had to ask him to acknowledge being late and he replied with a make-wrong, 'Hey sweetheart, lighten up, it was only a few minutes. It wouldn't feel good to introduce them to you. I told him why I don't plan on seeing him again until he does some therapy or estranges himself from his parents."
Note: The majority of girls are addicted to abusing and being abused (mostly condescending verbal abuse) by both parents. Often it looks like one parent is "worse" than the other but the silent one always non-verbally empowers (goads) the other. A girl from a dysfunctional family is so used to condescensions (like water to a fish) she is often unable to tell when a date is being condescending; she unconsciously searches for (magnetically attracts) a partner who communicates as her parents do because she mistakes criticism and raw/condescending humor for love. A teen boy who survives by "talking" with his parents, but is not "in-communication" with anyone, unconsciously searches for a girl who has been trained by her parents to be sneaky—who like himself, doesn't communicate honestly with his parents—because she can be conned into having sex behind the backs of (deceiving) both sets of parents.
What can you do? You can responsibly estrange yourself from your parents until you can consistently have mutually satisfying conversations with them. The communication-skill you're aiming for is for you to acknowledge each and every abusive communication. I.e. When you hear a family member being abusive they will (soonest) verbally acknowledge the abuse or you will be able to mention it and they will always reply, "I got that that didn't feel good. Thanks for catching me." Done consistently, the addiction to empowering abuse, to abusing and being abused, will disappear.
* Let's assume that you presently think a new date, a potential partner, is polite, kind, honest and considerate. If you plan on introducing them to your dysfunctional family and con him/her into falling for you, without telling him/her that they will soon have to compromise their integrity just to be in the same room with you and your parents—what must it say about you? And, what should the consequences be for premeditated abuse, the abuse you know you'll be submitting them to?
** "blame" There are no victims or bullies in a primary abusive relationship—only consenting sparring partners—both equally addicted to abusing and being abused and to blaming each other. Invariably, the "victim" tries to convince others that they (the victim) are not as abusive or the cause of the abuse. Police know that females most always eventually refuse to press charges in cases of domestic violence, in part because the alleged "victim" knows that they alone are responsible for the physical abuse, that they caused it. it's embarrassing to reveal to the police that you knowingly, daily, hourly, mostly non-verbally, goad your partner into abusing you to satisfy your addiction.
*** "thwarting" It's most likely that your parents envisioned that you would attract an educated, mature, employed, happy, uplifting partner. If you know that your parents would not enjoy dinner conversations with your date's parents then you know that you have thwarted their wishes, that you've manipulated your parents into accepting mediocrity.
**** The responsible way to talk about your abusive parents with any new date is to let your date know (up-front, so that they have a choice)***** specifically, that you don't interact with your parents at all, that you have estranged yourself from them until they've completed x hrs of therapy. I.e. "I won't be introducing you to them nor will we ever visit or talk with them. Will that be a problem for you? I had to estrange myself from them so as to not empower the abuse—to remove myself as the cause of the abuse between them. So far they have refused to do counseling/therapy. Daily (with each interaction) I am aware of my addiction to enabling abuse."
***** "Upfront" rather than hook them with your seduction and then dump your dysfunctional relationship with your family in their space. In other words, a dysfunctional family requires the same ethical (disclosure) handling as if you had HIV. Once you've estranged yourself from your family you may then date freely with the understanding that you will let dates know about the estrangement.
Last edited 1/6/18