Social Question

longgone's avatar

When you were growing up, how did your parents handle conflict?

Asked by longgone (14690points) February 12th, 2019

How does that affect you now? Do you enjoy conflict? Are you nervous about it? Do you have healthy strategies, or not so much?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

54 Answers

rebbel's avatar

Bad.
I’ve been avoiding conflict until this day.
Only through my girlfriend have I learned it somewhat (dealing with conflict).
Biggest omission in my formative years.
I now know that they weren’t taught it either, which makes me feel I no longer blame them for it.

seawulf575's avatar

When I was young-young, my parents were good with conflict. They were pretty level headed and didn’t launch into tirades, especially with each other. And they didn’t avoid conflict either. When I was about 10, dad had a huge breakdown. He ended up pulling into himself and any attempts to talk to him ended in loud arguments. The only one that he wouldn’t blow up at was me so I became the go-between. If he wanted something, he would come to me. If the family wanted something from him or had a question, they would ask me to ask him. I got to be really good in that role.
To this day, my strategy for dealing with conflict is to address the topic, not the person. Sometimes the person is the topic, but even then, you pick their specific actions that are causing the conflict and address them.

ucme's avatar

They got divorced.

hmmmmmm's avatar

My father avoided conflict by being a fucking asshole who engaged in a year-long affair before leaving us when I was 12, leading to poverty and a host of other issues. My mother avoided conflict by being exhausted due to being an overworked single mom who was just trying to keep things together.

I hate conflict with people I love, but I have worked on my conflict-avoidance tendencies because I know they are unhealthy.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Dad tried to avoid conflict. Mom would lose her shit pretty regularly. Dad would try to reason with her, but he came off as condescending and sarcastic, which he probably was. They stuck it out for 21 years. Dad finally filed for divorce and the family was blown apart.

I don’t mind conflict if it’s handled calmly. I absolutely hate mindless screaming and blind insulting.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Deleted by me.

janbb's avatar

My father would storm in and out of the room and my mother would give him the silent treatment which made him angrier. I actually found her coldness scarier than his anger. My Ex and I pretty much buried everything until we got divorced. Neither pattern was healthy.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Our family has always been honest communicators, sometimes loud, sometimes with tears, but not stony silences or grudges. I have seen my family argue politics with red faces and full debate, I’ve seen my tiny indian grandma up in a few grown men’s faces.

As an adult I do not shy away from conflict or discussions, I like a good argument actually. Gets the blood pumping and the cylinders firing.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

It’s a well-known ‘rule’ for the wives here to always to remember to step down when their husbands step up. The idea is that if both couple step up there would be a fight, the wives here are encouraged to be patient and submissive. Men are seen as the head of the family here so for their wives to challenge them to a fight would be seen as wrong. Once my father said something my mother will be silent and obey it (she would later complain to family members in her bedroom, however). I think my father is wiser in dealing with conflict so I have no problem with his assertiveness.

Brian1946's avatar

My parents went to the Moe Howard Family Counseling Center, and adopted therapeutic pie fighting as their means of resolution.

However, one result of this was that I developed a major case of pastryphobia, and now I flee across the street in sheer panic, rather than walk in front of a bakery. ;-o

Darth_Algar's avatar

My parents handled conflict by screaming at each other. It’s a pattern my mom learned from her parents, who were always fighting (owing largely to her father’s constant drinking, numerous affairs and inability to hold down steady employment).

I don’t think my mom knew how to live in a calm environment, so she’d create conflict. It’d start off as something petty: for example, she’d get jealous if another woman so much as spoke to dad (“who the fuck was that?” “Just a cashier.” “Why the fuck did she smile at you?” “I would assume they’re told to act friendly towards customers.”). Dad would, for his part, try to keep things from escalating, but mom would just keep at it and keep at it until she finally got a screaming match.

Yet, somehow, they stuck together. Married for 40 years before mom passed away. Luckily mom finally calmed down with age, and their last decade or so together was a relatively peaceful one.

Luckily, there’s not much conflict between my wife and I. Frankly, I wouldn’t stay together if there was. On those rare occasions when we do argue we both know how to walk away and cool off before things get too heated.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Only bright, happy emotions were allowed in my house growing up. We had to be gleeful at all times. My parents never argued. Ever. Also, I have never heard either of them say “I love you” to the other. Ever. Everything other than ecstasy was tightly controlled. Very tightly controlled.

I started psychotherapy when I was 23. 32 years later, I’m still going. One of the very first things I had to do when I first began therapy was learn how to be angry. I actually had to carry around a tiny notebook and write down times I was angry. I remember clearly that I started by writing down instances that were 3 or 4 days old. Over time, I learned to recognize anger quicker, and now I can feel it instantly.

I was married to a woman for a long time, and we argued. We tried to do it carefully by talking about matters, but we were each deeply hurt by those times.

I have misunderstandings with the man I’m dating. We haven’t progressed to the point of actually having something to argue about. We dated before, and I remember arguing, but it was honestly about us misunderstanding where the other was coming from. We are learning to quickly check in with each other to make sure we’re on the same page together.

Zaku's avatar

They mostly would change mood and then have a mature discussion. However some things were suppressed or avoided. It was mostly very good modelling of adult respectful discussion. However the suppression and avoidance parts also stuck with me a bit. However I also adopted a counterpoint approach and am different from them in terms of being willing to argue and complain and protest about some things (rarely regarding things about the relationship with people I’m close to, but more about aggressively calling out external things).

Jeruba's avatar

@Unofficial_Member, where is “here”?

janbb's avatar

@Jeruba S/he lives in Indonesia.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Darth_Algar So much of it IS what they’re used to. The fighting, the screaming. It’s really what they’re comfortable with.

flutherother's avatar

When I was growing up I was never aware of any tension or arguments between my parents. It was unthinkable to me that your mother and father could fight. They were married for 40 years until my father’s death. Only after I left home and spoke with my siblings did we realise there had been disagreements that they had kept hidden from us kids.

Things were often a struggle financially for my parents, but again this was kept from us kids at the time, and we were blissfully unaware of their worries.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@Jeruba Janbb is right. I live in Indonesia. As the country with the largest muslim population it shouldn’t too hard to see that women here are encouraged to be the support for their husbands, not the leader of the family. Leaders make decisions and supports are there to, well, support.

Dutchess_III's avatar

That prompts a good question…..I tried to keep worries away from my kids, but it was kind of hard when they couldn’t have all the nice things, video games and stuff that the other kids had because I just couldn’t afford it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

So, how do you feel about that @Unofficial_Member ? Do you think women would be capable of leading a family?

Unofficial_Member's avatar

^^ I personally think that leaders have to be breadwinners (the one with highest earning if the wife somehow make money too). There are many housewives here, and I have never heard of or seen househusbands (that would be a cultural stigma for the men). Can anyone tell me how could these women and their children be sustained in household? The answer is because there is someone (usually husbands) that provides money for that to happen. Most housewives are dependent on their breadwinner husbands for economic resources, and we know running a household takes a lot of economic resources. The problem lies in who needs who more? Breadwinners can do just fine without housemakers, but on the contrary, housemakers (usually) can’t even exist without the helping hand of a breadwinner. Now you see who is more important?

ragingloli's avatar

By annexing Czechoslovakia.

rebbel's avatar

Lots of breadwinners can do squat for themselves without housemakers.
They wouldn’t know how to boil a cup of tea.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

^^ Lots of breadwinners can also easily pay others to do it for them. There’s nothing exclusive about housemakers these days.

janbb's avatar

@Unofficial_Member See, in the United States many women and/or men are single or single parents so they have to manage being both breadwinner and homemaker in their households. Amazing, isn’t it?

rebbel's avatar

No, @Unofficial_Member, there isn’t.
Same as there’s nothing exclusive about women being breadwinners.
For their families, or for themselves.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@janbb But essentially, we have to think about who caused them to ended up in that situation? They themselves. I am not surprised seeing that the divorce rate is high in US. Here, divorces are stigmatized, many people will generally stay strong in an established household. If you want to divorce you’ll have to be prepared for the consequences of not having a breadwinner if you’re a housemaker, it’ll be hard to be both housemaker and breadwinner but you inevitably brought that upon yourself when you signed the divorce paper. Also, in a single parent household there’s no one to compare with as you as the sole provider usurp the only available position.

@rebbel The exclusivity only show itself in the household. You need a breadwinner to run a household, which make them exclusive. Housemakers are optional, as a breadwinner you can hire other people to do the same thing. Daycare, housekeeping services, etc, those are the thing that people these days can pay for. If your compare breadwinners with housemakers you’ll see the who is more important than who.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Unofficial I make more than my husband, still cook and clean, too. We are equals, we make decisions together.

I hope you know your brain is just as smart as a mans.

rebbel's avatar

@Unofficial_Member Not here.
Equally important.

janbb's avatar

@Unofficial_Member You come from such a different culture and mindset there’s no real point in discussing this further. If you’re happy in your culture, then so be it. Just know that it isn’t that way elsewhere.

janbb's avatar

@KNOWITALL We really don’t know if UM is a man or a woman.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@KNOWITALL That is the point! You make more money, that means you have bargaining power when it comes to discussing position in your household. On top of that, you also do housemakers chores, that make you very valuable in the household, you have attained the power of more than equality but you are kind enough to let it be equal between you both. This not about gender issue, it’s more about who make the most merit and who depends more on who in the household.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Unofficial Interesting to hear your version haha. Our worlds are very different!

I just dont need bargaing power, if I want something I get it. Same for him. Haha!

filmfann's avatar

When my parents would fight, she would purposely burn dinner, he would eat it all, smile, and say how good it was.
It beats the hell out of the way my grandparents fought. The famous story from them was how my grandfather complained that the biscuits were hard. My grandmother got mad and threw a biscuit at him. Cut his head open.

janbb's avatar

@filmfann I guess that proved his point!

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@KNOWITALL People seem to get the wrong idea and think that I like the idea of position-wrestling in a household based on merits. I don’t. I was saying the reality that happen to many families here. First, the religion enforces the position. Second, suppose that the housemakers (usually wives here) in the religious family want to rebel and ask to be equal and guess what their husbands will say other than using religion? They’ll say humiliating words that show how hard they have earned money for their family, that their wives take the money from them to survive and to buy many things, and that without them their wives would be returned to their parents’ house (this is seen as shameful situation).

I have been saying these things in relation to single-job parents, usually in many households here the fathers are the exclusive breadwinners (many of them don’t want to do household chores as they think it’s their women’s job) while the wives are exclusive housemakers. This is justifying how the wives would be helpless without their husbands, while their husbands will have little to no consequences thus they’ll have the leader position.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Unofficial Ok, you’re just speaking on your culture, not your opinion. Got it.

Its really hard for me to accept, because women here marched and fought for equality. So we can vote, so we can own land, so we can choose what life we want. I feel very protective of women who do not have choices.

seawulf575's avatar

I want to thank everyone for sharing, but I noticed something interesting…no one is getting a bunch of GA’s. The topic cuts to close to home for most of us, I think.

Dutchess_III's avatar

My sister makes 3 times what her husband, a high school history teacher makes @Unofficial_Member. They share in the decision making.
Rick makes substantially more money than I do, but he’s not the boss of me. We also make decisions together.
And women find themselves raising children alone because the men have run away from their responsibilities. How can you blame that solely on the women?

Unofficial_Member's avatar

I don’t want to blame anyone, @Dutchess_III. Sure, there’s no choice if the the husband is a deadbeat but if you judge the situation from the perspective of someone who is solely a homemaker and who also have an option you can see that the decision to leave your breadwinner spouse is a bad idea (unless you’re rich/can find other breadwinner). Can she feed herself and her children without the help of a breadwinner? It’s not a problem if she’s financially independent but in many traditional households that is not the case. Even if you don’t love your breadwinner spouse anymore you still stay with him so that you and your children will survive.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I made it. We survived. The 4 kids and me. By ourselves.

I have a question for you…can you even imagine a scenario where the wife would over rule the husband?

Unofficial_Member's avatar

^^ Of course I could imagine that. I even like that idea, but I could never speak of this to men as it’s not a popularly accepted idea.

Good to hear that you all can manage to survive. I can imagine it must have been super tough but surely you were at least financially-independent enough to be able to pull it off. However, the reality isn’t like that for most women in traditional families, especially in third world countries, like mine. Leaving their husbands could easily mean that they’ve lost their financial resources for good, as well as their only opportunity to have a breadwinner spouse (the popular idea here is that once a woman has been ‘entered’ by man she’s already impure and many men don’t like to have secondhand woman). She can go back to her parents’ house but what if her parents no longer exist? In that situation she will eventually have no choice but to be pragmatic just to survive.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Unofficial_Member Are you going to look for a breadwinner husband? What careers are there for women there, like what do rich women do for work there?

Unofficial_Member's avatar

I am not sure I would like to think about marriage now @KNOWITALL, but in the long term of course I’d love to have a breadwinner husband, a rich one, preferably. Now I don’t want to sound greedy or materialistic but won’t we all desire a convenient life? Rich people can provide that.

Rich women (big cities dwellers) here tend to have their own businesses or work a career that generate a lot of income. They have their own restaurants, stores, salons, being a doctor, lawyer, etc. These women have acquired equality all by themselves. I am sure we’re talking about the ones that are already rich from the beginning, not the ones that are rich after marrying a rich person. For the ones that aren’t, well…, they’re just housewives, especially when they have no knowledge and are dependent on their husband.

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Unofficial_Member I honestly can’t imagine having my goal in life to find a rich husband, that sounds like the old days here in the US. So…mercenary!

I hope you are one of the women who can start a business or get a good mentor, so you are successful without marrying for money. I hope you can marry for love and still be okay. :)

Dutchess_III's avatar

I was not “financially independent” by any stretch of the mind.

I over rule Rick regularly.

Unofficial_Member's avatar

@KNOWITALL “Mercenary” hahaha. That is so funny! I’m glad you’re not saying “gold digger”, because I am not, I have my own work but if given the choice and opportunity I would love to have a rich boyfriend that have no problem buying what I want. Thank you for your advice.

@Dutchess_III Then you’re that lucky woman that your husband allow you the ‘alpha’ position even in such situation.

rebbel's avatar

Although I don’t know @Dutchess_III personally (or her partner), I do think that you don’t really get it when you say that @Dutchess_III is “lucky that her husband allows her the ‘Alpha’ position”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If he didn’t “allow” it we’d have a wolf in our house and we’d go broke buying vehicles, @Unofficial_Member. And I wouldn’t be his wife.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m serious, BTW! You know we lost Dakota. Well, a couple of nights ago he was trying to talk me in to getting this “wolf” from some obscure friend of his who died and left this year old wolf needing rehomed! I’m like Not only no but *NO!!

KNOWITALL's avatar

@Dutchess_III Oh wow, maybe a little too soon after all you went through. But I’m sure his heart was in the right place…lol

Dutchess_III's avatar

We both agreed no more dogs (but those were my last words 12 years ago just before he sprung Dakota on me….,) but we never said anything about wolves, did we. That’s his defense,anyway!
“NO!!” I like my grandchildren intact, thank you.

longgone's avatar

Thanks, this thread was really interesting to me.

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