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Excerpted from What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You and Your Father Didn't Know by John Gray. Copyright 1994 by John Gray. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.  All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.  HTML and web pages copyright by SpiritSite.com.
 


"Our parents couldn't teach us the relationship skills necessary to make relationships thrive in the modern world. Just remembering this--that we could not learn these things from our families--is enough to soften your heart and forgive yourself and your partner for the mistakes you repeatedly make."

John Gray, What Your Mother Couldn't Tell You and Your Father Didn't Know, Part 3

What We Didn't Learn

Our mothers could not teach their daughters how to share their feelings in a way that didn't make men defensive, or how to ask for support so that a man would respond favorably. They did not understand how to nurture a man without mothering him or giving too much. They did not know how to accommodate his wishes without sacrificing their own. They were experts at pleasing their men at their own expense.

In essence, our mothers could not teach their daughters how to be feminine and also powerful. They couldn't teach them how to support their partners and also get the emotional support that they deserved.

Our fathers could not teach their sons how to communicate with a woman without passively giving in or aggressively arguing. Men today have no role models for leading and directing the family in a way that respects and includes their partners' points of view. They do not know how to remain strong while providing emotional support.

We must not blame our parents for failing
to teach us things about relationships
that they could not know.

Our fathers did not understand how to give the empathy and sympathy that women require today. They did not know the little things a woman requires to be fulfilled. They did not know the importance of monogamy and making a woman feel special. Our fathers simply did not understand women. Without that understanding, the contemporary male cannot develop the skills necessary to get the kind of support he now requires in his relationships.

Our parents couldn't teach us the relationship skills necessary to make relationships thrive in the modern world. Just remembering this--that we could not learn these things from our families--is enough to soften your heart and forgive yourself and your partner for the mistakes you repeatedly make. This gentle wisdom brings hope again.

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