This I Believe

Karen - San Antonio, Texas
Entered on July 5, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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It’s funny when we talk about my belief system and who or how it was shaped because my parents are the most responsible for my belief system concerning marriage. What’s funny about it is that I want my marriage to be completely and utterly the opposite from my parents’ marriage. It has been through seeing their marriage and their struggles that I realized I needed my own belief system when it came to marriage otherwise, I would end up just like them. They have been married for over 24 years but have celebrated no anniversaries. They fight almost every minute of every day. There is no great love story behind how they met and why they decided to get married, or if there is, they have never shared it with us.

My mother is the responsible one who “brings home the bacon.” My father is the most irresponsible man I know. He doesn’t work, is an alcoholic, and contributes nothing to the family except his love for his kids. My father, on the other hand, is definitely the most loving man I know and yet my mother is the coldest person I know. I recent my father for not helping me through college like, well what it seems like, other fathers do. My mother contributes as much as she can but I have some resentment towards her for not being loving enough. Nothing is ever good enough for her. Compliments, not her thing. Crazy, huh? Don’t get me wrong, they both do these things for their children. Each believes something different though. My mother believes that the only way to show how much you love your children is to provide for them financially. The emotional stuff is too emotional and only weakens you, so she is straight forward and shows little emotion. On the other end of the spectrum, my father believes that the material things are not needed. It is through love that the family will get by. He is always so caring and supportive of anything and everything we do. It is an unbalanced relationship that somehow balances itself out, sort of.

Having that said, I have found me a man who never raises his voice and as a result neither do I. He is patient, loving, and responsible. He cleans more than I do and manages his expenses. I have slowly learned to open up and not be as cold as I thought I should be. I realized that someone can care enough about me as I do about them. My parents are my parents. They have their strengths and their weaknesses, but at no time will I be a victim of their mistakes. The way I see it, you can either learn or be victimized by someone or an event in your life. So, I thank my parents for being how they are because I’m not sure I would really know how to appreciate the great man I have now. Yes, my belief system about marriage does come from my parents, but then again, not exactly.