One of my readers sent in a question that comes up all the time in my meetings and coaching sessions. This tells me many people are dealing with situations similar this, so I appreciate the chance to address it. After all, we know that our family and upbringing can have an influence on our choices in men, both good and bad, as well as how we approach our relationships!
Q: How do you address being from a very dysfunctional family that you have no contact with — yet still make it clear you have family values — in a way that will not turn someone special off?
Unfortunately, not everyone is dealt a great family or parental role model card. And one of the most important things I want you to know is that no one will hold that against you. As with any of the struggles you’ll face in your life, it’s not what you’ve been through that matters, it’s how you’ve dealt with it. It’s your story and everything in your life has developed your strength and character — so have confidence!
Now, I love full transparency but I also believe that things must be shared with the right words and at the right time. The idea here is to not get lost in your story or the emotion of your story. If you feel pressured or judged during the discussion, you won’t come across like you have a handle on the situation.
Tell a new man in your life that you have chosen to not have contact with your family, and although you wish things were different, it’s simply not a healthy environment for you. With your experience, you can honestly say that you believe family values are extremely important in your future partner. When asked, you can tell someone how you define family values. Clarity is key. Be direct and honest.
The right man will love you for the woman you are today.
Thank you for this question. I know it will help a lot of women out there!