The first conversation was dedicated to expectations going into the commitment. This second conversation is equally important and is dedicated to the family of origin. Where and who did your partner come from? What is your family’s mental health history? Much of what we bring in relationships come from what we’ve experienced growing up in our own family. Even the things we say we would never do has a way of showing up.
Second Conversation: Family of Origin
What was it like growing up?
What was it like growing up in your house? What was the environment like? Did you feel supported and cared for? Understanding these questions allow room for grace and understanding to enter the relationship. Understanding why your partner reacts to certain situations the way they do. Giving them grace because you know where they come from. What did you like about growing up in your house? What did you not like? Get a sense of what worked for them and what could possibly be a trigger.
What are some of your family traditions?
Were there any holiday traditions that your family participated in yearly? Do you all still do it? What is your favorite holiday tradition? Find out more about their family and what was important to them and why. How did your family celebrate birthdays, if at all?
What did showing love like in your house?
Was your family physically affectionate? Did you all verbally say ‘I love you’? Was it an unspoken emotion of I love you? These questions are important because it helps explain what showing love looks like for them. It also shows how similar or different showing love looks like for the two of you. How did the way love was shown in your family affect you?
How was conflict dealt with in your household?
Understanding if there was healthy conflict resolution or not is important. Conflict is inevitable so it is important to know how each other handles it. Was there a lot of yelling? Did it ever get physical? How was conflict or disagreements resolved?
Understanding where your partner comes from is only the start of the conversation. Use this information to begin the next part of the conversation. How do we want our home and our environment to look and feel? What traditions do you want to start as a family? What does conflict resolution look like for us? How do you want me to show you love?
Be open and understanding when listening to your partner’s experience.
What did you learn about your partner?
Do you understand things about them that you didn’t before?
Do you have any more family of origin questions?