Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Commitment

When my parents became empty nesters this year, my sister and I were slightly concerned with how our parents would do. Their whole lives revolved around the children and we were happy that my baby brother delayed their empty nest.

I never thought my parents had an incredibly loving relationship. They fought a lot. Neither one of them were very good at communicating their wants and needs to each other. They were guilty of being terrible listeners. Neither wanted to compromise.

It was a marriage of convenience in my eyes. My dad needed a pretty housewife who didn't need him around all the time since he's incredibly busy with work. My mom wanted independence and financial stability. My mom said she was too realistic to marry for love.

What they shared in common was their love of their children. Once we left the nest, I was worried how they would co-exist.

I revealed to them last year that I was in an interracial relationship last year. There were definite reservations from both my parents but one of my arguments was that I wanted a relationship with love.

My dad was very defensive and argued that what my parents had was a loving relationship. I argued that all I saw them doing my entire life was fight and tolerate each other's company.

In retrospect, I have to admit that my judgement came out slightly harsh.

I was discussing this with my younger brother the other day and said, "Don't you think our parents are getting along much better now?"

He nodded and said, "I think they are learning to communicate better and to accept each other."

They've been spending more and more time with each other. It seems that they are finally learning each other's quirks and their relationship has deepened.



I received an e-mail with photos of their recent excursion. On the weekends, my dad loves to go hiking and he'll persuade my mom to join him. My mom doesn't really like being outdoors but indulges my dad's interests.


My parents look younger than their 50s. It seems that they are happier recently which makes me happy and relieved.

My mom is really funny. Currently, her Facebook picture is of my parents together. When she changes it to a picture of her by herself or her with one of my siblings, I know my dad did something wrong. We have a 12 hour time difference so we can't always communicate in a timely fashion. I'm quick to shoot her an e-mail or web cam with her to check to see if all is well in my household! 

 It's funny how roles reverse as I grow up. I start worrying about my parents and nagging them about things.

I'm excited to go home in less than a month with my siblings. I'll be blogging consistently in Taipei so don't worry about me disappearing! 

7 comments:

  1. I can relate to this so much. My brother is graduating from college this weekend, and he's moving out a month from now (his university is 20 minutes from my parent's house so this was for financial reasons). I feel like my parents have a marriage of convenience as well. They don't communicate very well, they fight a lot, and they don't always seem to enjoy each other's company. But divorce is messy and complicated, and I sometimes worry they are just roommates.

    Hopefully with my brother moving out they can work on things, but I am concerned :-/

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  2. Marriages are so complicated, and I am one of those who is of the opinion that anyone, including Hitler and Mother Teresa, can make a marriage work if they commit themselves to love and service and refuse to quit. But it takes a lot of compromise and development, and the foundations must be strong or at least improved until both people involved are satisfied.

    It's nice to hear your parents were able to rediscover (or discover!) one another and enjoy the time together, for the most part, in recent years. There are always tiffs and disagreements that pop up, but as long as they don't become apathetic in the marriage or have contempt for one another, as opposed to respect, I think they'll be fine. And really, that goes for any relationship. I don't always agree with my husband, but he has my complete respect and admiration because of who he is and the way in which he works so hard, daily. That has sustained us through the bumps and rolls of life, when feelings of affection might wax and wane due to stress, kids, etc. Respect and saying 'yes' to one another goes a long way to salving wounds and growing a solid relationship :)


    And FYI, your parents are adorable!

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  3. Strange and sometimes good things happen when the nest empties. It sounds like your parents have a relationship that is improving. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  4. Sounds like the dynamics of your parents relationship is definitely changing for the better. The pics of them together are so cute!

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  5. That's really nice that your parents are trying, so many couples drift further apart after the children leave. This does prove that they do want a loving relationship :) Nice pictures too :) I'm excited for your trip and to hear all about it :)

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  6. Well, here's the thing. Growing up, you just don't always see what was there before you were! I can tell you that my hubby and I have been together a long time -- 13yrs. And our relationship has definitely changed since having children. Not only has our relationship changed, but so have we as individuals. And it's just... different. We didn't have a marriage of convenience, but I tell you there are times it seems like the romance is gone and we bicker. But in many ways, I think it's good for kids to see this so that know that growing up, there WILL be hard times and times where you fuss and fight, but at the end of it, you work through it and your marriage will continue to change and maybe even get better! I'd say that is what happened with your parents. They were young and got married for whatever reason and then had children. Through all of that they have changed, their relationship has changed, and now things are changing again. Sometimes, many times, change is good.

    I also saw this in my own parents who married VERY young. I worried that once I was gone (I am the baby) that the marriage would fall apart. But its been quite the opposite! It's like they have once again discovered who they were before they were just 'Mom and Dad'. And honestly, it's wonderful to see. They talk about doing everyday errands together, going out for 'dates', going through the used bookstore, and even planning little trips here and there like just to come visit us! It's a side of them I never knew as a kid... it's their grown up pre-kid side. And you know, I think it happens and I think that not acknowledging it is part of the reason why divorce is so high... People don't talk about how things in marriage change ALL THE TIME. And you either one have to adapt and go on or see it as failure and quit. I'm not a quitter even though there have been times I've questioned myself. But by and far, I've loved being married and hope that someday when our boys are up and out of the house, that we too remember what it was like and reconnect in a new way... just the two of us. :)

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