Sex and the city: Mom is religious orthodox, dad has a child with his mistress

My mom is a religious orthodox and my dad has a mistress and a child with his mistress. I have poor role models in both of them. I find myself rebelling against the orthodoxy and I have had sex with all my boyfriends. He is my third boyfriend. I have also been very clingy to all my boyfriends as I feel insecure based on my dad’s infidelity. How do I free myself from the shackles of my parents’ choices. I seem to be trapped in my lineage and can’t sustain a healthy boy-girl relationship. What do I do?

You are going to have to learn to strike a delicate balance of delinking your personal fate from that of your family. This may not be easy for you to do but it’s time to understand that all individuals are ultimately responsible for their own life decisions and choices. So choose wisely. You’re on an individual journey here. If you’ve had consensual sex with your boyfriends at the time when you were dating them and no one was coaxed into the act of sexual intercourse, then you have acted autonomously as a thinking adult. What you do with your body and with whom you choose to be intimate is strictly your business and no one else’s!

Having said that, because you live within a family, it is important for you to realise that just as you scrutinize it’s members, you are free to scrutinize yourself as well. To be trapped is to refuse the option of change and to refuse changing is to want to continue down the rehearsed path which feels familiar but may yield very little novelty and growth. Your boyfriends are men and your father is also a man. Having said that, all men are not the same. You will need to see this rationally.

Even if you were to pluck 2 fruits from the same orchard, they’d vary at least a little in their shapes, sizes and perhaps even their sweetness! No two entities are alike. Human beings are a product of their cultural conditioning and personality nuances that get crystallized due to where they grow up and what they learn in their lives. If you continue to be clingy with the men you date, they are likely to feel stifled and uncomfortable. If your father has chosen the path of ‘infidelity’ as opposed to being loyal in his relationship to your religiously orthodox mother, then that is his decision to make. No doubt, you may be displeased with his decisions but then that’s what happens in families.

Not everything that is said and done in a household may get the much envied popular vote! If the man-woman relationship that your parents share has issues, how is that your problem to deal with? You were nowhere in the picture when they decided to get married nor did you have any control over the terms of their relationship. This is strictly their business and need not feel shackled due to decisions made by them. All decisions are made due to errors of commission or errors of omission. There is no safe or foolproof formula to live a ‘problem free’ life that exists in this world. Most improvements are improvisations and most wisdom is learnt through the school of hard knocks. Just as you are entitled to your own growth journey and mistakes, you must realise that everyone else is entitled to the very same things.

The orthodoxy that you refer to is ultimately a school of thought that a group of people have ‘chosen’ to subscribe to. Everything in our lives ultimately boils down to choosing between various available options. Take control of your choices by first understanding what options you have available and what options seem like they will lead you somewhere interesting where you can discover yourself and explore what you need.

A healthy boy-girl relationship requires time to develop. It will grow out of a friendship that you will have to learn to nurture with trust, communication, respect, care and a great deal of situational sensitivity. No two situations are the same just as no two men are the same. Your lineage may have played a role in telling you where you come from but where you go to from here is a decision you will have to make based on whatever it is you want for yourself and for your life. If you feel like you’re coming on ‘too strong’ maybe it’s time to visit a psychotherapist so that you can learn effective ways of expressing your needs and so that you can work diligently to address any fears or doubts that you harbour that may drag down your relationship and the mutual investment in it – in a number of ways.

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