So yesterday I wrote about the number of different home dynamics a person could be shaped by growing up. It is interesting considering my own home life from my perspective. I knew both sets of grandparents which helps me see the dynamics that helped shape my own parents patterns of behavior. I’m coming to see how you or I react to the home environment is affected by our own personality type as well as the way your parents interact.
On my father’s side, his mom was a very strong German woman. She clearly wore the pants in the family and my dad was very loyal to her. I’m not sure the apron strings were cut till she died. My grandfather was a kind, unassuming man, and from my vantage point pretty much did what it took to keep peace. My dad was the baby and had two older brothers. Dad was natured much like his dad.
My mom’s side of the family was somewhat the opposite. Her dad was a strong personality, in earlier days was abusive to his wife and family. My grandmother was strong in her own right but from my perspective was the less dominant. There were eight children in the family, one child died after being hit by a trolley car, leaving five boys and two girls. I believe my mom was the youngest girl and third youngest over all but has a very strong personality. She has told me, seeing how her father treated her mom, brought something up in her that said, “no man will ever treat me like that!”
It is obvious looking at this scenario why my parents would be drawn to each other. Dad was natured in a way he could accept a strong woman leading him, and mom was natured in a way she wouldn’t do well with a strong man leading her.
Enter me. Oldest son, middle child. I have an older sister and a younger brother. Dad was faithful meaning he was always there. Mom and dad were married till he passed at age 65. He worked at one place his whole life. He was a quiet but important presence in our home. Mom appeared to wear the pants and only occasionally would dad get riled up enough to over rule her. It appeared to me, he had to “have all he could stands” before he would talk back to her. I would call the home dynamic, strong mom, reserved dad. Or more negatively, domineering mom and passive dad.
Interesting what a boy sees and absorbs about being a man growing up in this dynamic. I learned my role is to “Passively resist,” my wife. I just saw the effect of this last week! I lead in every other arena of life, but when I’m home, I tend to disengage and passively resist my wife’s suggestions! There is more but this is getting to long! I’ll end with this. Now that I see this, I’m choosing to intentionally, actively engage with my family and am learning to speak the truth in love with Gayle. It will be a process!