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10 Things To Understand When You Love Someone From A Broken Family

10 Things To Understand When You Love Someone From A Broken Family

No one person that comes from a broken family is the same as another. For some, a broken family was caused by a divorce, abuse, neglect, or the death of a parent at a young age. For others, a broken family is the only thing they know.

For many, it came at a young age, and a big cost to who they would become. There is no definition that explains what it feels like, or what it means to come from a broken home.

It’s not simple to explain, it’s not what most would see as normal, and it’s something that can bring both happiness and pain. Those who come from a broken home are doing their best to figure life out, just like everyone else.

Don’t get me wrong here, loving someone who comes from a broken family can be work, but they will love you and cherish you with all of their heart. You are their safe place, and they will always have your back for that.

To be able to give back the love and loyalty you are getting, here are a few facts of people from broken homes that will help you to better understand how to love someone who comes from a broken family.

1. They don’t trust easily

Trust is something that is earned for them, and it is taken very seriously. This will be relevant throughout your entire relationship.

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At some point in life, someone they trusted ended up disappointing them big time. For this reason it’s hard for them to just give up their trust to you.

This might be hard to crack at first, but when they let you in, they likely won’t hold anything back.

2. At the beginning of the relationship, they won’t think they deserve you

You are simply too good for them. They don’t deserve the love, or even the attention that you are showing them. This can last for a very long time, but it is likely that you won’t even know they feel this way.

Those who come from a broken family are used to holding in their feelings and covering up with a smile. When they seem down to you, just give them a compliment and hold them close.

3. While in the early stages of dating, they will focus on you, and avoid long conversations about themselves

At some point at the beginning of dating, you will feel like they know everything about you, but you don’t exactly know everything about them. This is normal. When they get into a relationship it’s easier for both sides to talk about positive things, and their home life is not positive, so they avoid it.

You might be told names of family members, or a funny story here or there, but you will have no idea that their parent is or was an addict, or whatever their home situation might be. Don’t push on this subject.

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When they trust you, they will tell you what growing up was like for them.

4. They will be the independent one in the relationship

If at times it seems like they don’t act like they need you, it’s because they don’t, technically. They had to grow up at a young age, and some of them even had to take care of themselves and their siblings on their own.

They can get by without you, but they don’t want to. Don’t hold this against them, as it will benefit them when they have a family of their own. And if you’re lucky, that family will be with you.

5. Meeting your family will be hard for them

A normal family is something only dreams are made of for them. Talking about your family is uneasy for them, and meeting them is terrifying.

They don’t know what to expect, and your stories of childhood and good relationships are a far cry from their reality. Be supportive, and introduce them to the family slowly. Once they see how your family interacts, they will open up to you about theirs, giving you a better understanding of who they are.

6. Arguments will either be filled with emotion, or be completely shut off

Depending on the topic, and how comfortable they are with you, an argument will go one of two ways. Earlier in the relationship it is likely that when an argument arises they will tend to listen more than they talk.

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They don’t necessarily want to disagree with you, and they want two things to happen. They want you to be happy at the end of the argument, and they want the argument over NOW.

In the heat of an argument at this point, they will feel extremely anxious, and wonder if this might lead to you leaving them – just like everyone else has left them. The second way this can go is with extreme emotion.

By this point in the relationship it is likely they are comfortable with you. They no longer worry about you leaving them just because of this fight, and they will let you know how they feel. Regardless of the situation you find yourself at, don’t leave things unsettled. At the end of the day, they need to know that everything is okay.

7. Once they fall in love with you, they are done hiding from you

However long it might take for this to happen, when it does, you will know. Letting someone in enough to fall in love is a big thing for them. At this point in the relationship they will have started to open up to you about their past, and their family.

You will know exactly how they feel about their home life. It might feel to you like this came out of nowhere, but it most certainly did not. They thought this over in their heads many times, and they came to the same conclusion each time.

You are worth letting in. You are understanding and non-judgmental, and they know you love them back.

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8. Marriage will be an awkward conversation for them

By this point, they love you, you know everything that makes them who they are, you’ve both met each others families, but something is still off. First of all, try not to get frustrated with them. To most, marriage is a fairy tale, and one that didn’t go so well in their family.

Don’t get mad, as it’s all they know. Over time they will start to see a long future with you, and they will be more open to trying to understand what marriage with you could be like.

9. Marrying you will be the happiest day of their life

Once they get over the initial shock that they are actually getting married, they will be overjoyed. At this point, they have moved on from their past, and they are looking forward to starting a new life with you.

They are all about you, and this will genuinely be the happiest day of their lives – until the two of you have kids.

10. They will make an amazing parent

Because of all they have gone through as a child, they will know exactly how they want to be with their children. They will want to give their children the life they wish they would have had.

Becoming a parent can be terrifying for anyone, but they will take it in stride. If you are lucky enough to make it this far with them, they you are their everything, and they will look forward to making your little family the best it can be.

Featured photo credit: Cute couples via blog.lib.umn.edu

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

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