From Dr. Jane's Notebook

Toxic interaction patterns traced to sibling rivalry

Judith Viorst in her book titled Grown-Up Marriage describes toxic interaction patterns between us and the people in our lives as forms of sibling rivalry that we learned in childhood. For most of us, our families of origin were the training grounds where we learned to negotiate, fight, and survive. Hopefully, they were also the places where we learned to communicate, cooperate, and compromise. Later on as adults, when we try to unravel the ropes of our disagreement, it is may be helpful to think back upon our earlier patterns of communication. Here are a few more thoughts on the matter.

As grown ups, we have the opportunity to function as a complementary partners. Even if we always got our own way as children, we do not have the right to make all the rules, and we do not have the right to punish each other. Unfinished business from childhood can last a lifetime if we let it.

©Copyright, 2004, Jane R. Rosen-Grandon. All rights reserved.

Return to Family Relations

Return to Table of Contents