Parents, Sex & Intimacy

 

Parents, Sex & Intimacy

by Rhonda Levand

Our parents had a more profound influence on us than anyone else. What they communicated to us verbally, by their actions, or what they didn't tell us about sex, affects our sexuality.

In my work, I spend a lot of time discussing and releasing patterns that affect us. A pattern is a form of repetitive, unconscious behavior. For example, if every time you reach nine months in your intimate relationships, you leave, this is described as a leaving pattern. A pattern is something you do over and over again unconsciously. We also unconsciously conform or rebel against our parents' minds. Our minds thrive on familiarity. Since we probably lived between sixteen and twenty years with our parents, and what they did was familiar to us, then depending on how we felt about our parents, we either conform to, or actively rebel against, their actions, words, and minds. Whether we rebel or conform to our parents' minds, we are still at the affect of them.

Get in touch with your thoughts about sex and intimacy, and how they relate to your parents' thoughts...

Before I discuss how these patterns affect our sexuality, I want to let you know how to release them. The first step in releasing a pattern is to notice it operating in your life. The second step is to admit your addiction to it. The addiction is similar to being addicted to alcohol, drugs or food; in order to release it, you first have to say "Yes, I am an addict. Yes, I am addicted to copying my parents in the area of sexuality." The third step occurs when you are really sick of the pattern, usually after you have indulged in it. Then you can actively say "no" to it, and choose out.

Fixing The Patterns

The first pattern is choosing an intimate partner who has a personality like one of our parents. The tendency is to choose a partner who is like the parent with whom you had the most trouble. For example, when I was growing up I had the most difficulty with my mother. I felt that she was a perfectionist, critical, and had a short fuse. She was also an Aries, very creative, a professional dancer, had a great laugh, and when she laughed, it was very infectious. My mother and I fought a lot, especially during my puberty.

I had a relationship with a man for three years who was exactly like my mother. He was critical, somewhat of a perfectionist, a professional dancer, an Aries, had a short fuse, and an infectious laugh. Needless to say, we had a lot of fights. We also had a lot of sex. We probably had sex every day for three years. The anger and upsets gave us a lot of energy to make-up and have sex. The sex seemed to be a release of the anger and tension that we had. We broke up after three years and never had sex again, and thank God we never fought again.

The reason we re-create partners like our parents is so that we can resolve our issues with our parents. When I was involved in this relationship, I realized how much unresolved anger and upset I had with my mother. I did the Forgiveness Diet (see sidebar) on myself and my mother, and I wrote her completion letters.

We use our partners to heal anything unresolved we have with our parents. As long as we realize that, and do what it takes to heal our relationship with our parents, we are able to have a better relationship with our intimate partner.

Pattern two is creating a partner who treats us like our parent or parents treated us. An example for me happened after I had a tremendous healing with my mother. I no longer created a partner like her. I shifted to my father. I always felt I had a great relationship with my dad. However, in one relationship I had for about three months, I found out what I had unresolved with my father. When I was thirteen years old, my father commuted to Chicago for business for one year. If I was lucky, I saw him one weekend a month.

In this new relationship, I created my partner looking and acting like my father: good looking, charismatic, a good salesman, and having his business and money handled. The only problem was, like my father, he traveled a lot for business. He had never been to Chicago on business until he dated me. He went there for business, and I was able to look at how much I hated not having my father there for me. The unresolved part of my relationship with my father was wanting him and not having him available for me. This relationship was very short-lived, because my partner traveled a lot in the three months we dated. We really didn't get to bond completely, and then he left for Africa for four months. He wrote me several times, and I considered myself still in the relationship.

Jeff and I got close as friends during this four-month period. About a week after he got back from Africa, my partner and I broke up. I was able to have a deeper healing with my father after this relationship. I also started to let go of my father more and more, so I could really let in a man who was completely there and available for me. Letting go enabled me to let in someone who was mine, and did not belong to my mother, his mother, or anyone else.

The third pattern is to copy our parents' relationship with each other. In other words, we relate to our partner just like our parents related to each other. So if our parents were affectionate only behind closed doors, this is how we would be with our partner. If our parents slept in separate beds or didn't have sex at all, we might copy them, and stop having sex with our partner.

Sometimes, what we think was the truth about our parents' sex life is only what we believed to be true. Our parents' sex life probably was, and is, better than we thought. For example, I thought my parents never had sex. They never talked about it; sex was really behind closed doors, and they had two twin beds next to each other. I assumed they didn't have sex. One day when I was a teenager, I came home late from a date, and caught my parents all curled up together in one bed, and I knew they had sex. I couldn't believe they actually did it. Now at seventy-eight, my parents finally have a king size bed.

In my marriage, we rarely had sex. I really didn't want to. I didn't know how to have sex, or why anyone would want to. I can see now that I was copying what I thought had been my parents' sex life.

Releasing The Patterns

In order to get in touch with your thoughts about sex and intimacy, and how they relate to your parents' thoughts, do the following written processes. My thoughts about sex are.... My mother's thoughts about sex are.... My father's thoughts about sex are....My thoughts about intimacy are.... My mother's thoughts about intimacy are.... My father's thoughts about intimacy are....

Create your own affirmations by changing any negative thought you have about sex and intimacy. For example, if you think sex is a duty, the affirmation would be, "Sex is a pleasure for me and my partner."

Two main affirmations I want to give you are: It's safe to surpass my parents' sex life and It's safe to surpass my thoughts about my parents' sex life.

A way to look at how you may be copying your parent's intimate relationship is to do the following written processes: List ways your parents related to each other. (Include intimately, sexually and physically); list ways you have related to your present and most recent partners intimately, physically, and sexually. Note the similarities, and notice if your relationships are the opposite of your parents' relationship, and you are rebelling from your parents' intimate relationship style. If you are happy with the way you relate, and it works for you, that's great. If not, then it's time to stop being at affect of your parents. Remember, you want to be your own person living in the moment, not a reflection of your parents, living in the past.


This article was excerpted from:

Sexual Evolution
by Rhonda Levand.

The above was excerpted with permission from, "Sexual Evolution" by Rhonda Levand, ?1991, published by Celestial Arts. Rhonda can be reached at: 3770 Greenview Drive, Marietta, GA.

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About The Author

Rhonda Levand holds a masters degree in child psychology from California State University, is a licensed rebirther and manager of the Loving Relations Training in the Atlanta area.

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