How You Can Soar Above the Storm Clouds of Generational Dysfunction

Generational dysfunction doesn't have to ruin a marriage. (Unsplash)

As a professional therapist, Stephanie Murphy had always wondered how to navigate the relational issue of generational dysfunction.

The product of a broken home with divorced parents herself, Murphy can tell you firsthand that the mending process is a challenging and sometimes tedious one that no one should go through alone. But then, not everyone is open to the counseling they need.

"One thing I've realized during the process of counseling is that people won't change until it's more uncomfortable not to change than it is to change," Murphy told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network. "As a marriage therapist, I've seen how unresolved issues can affect the quality of a marital relationship.

"You may have a Christian couple, and they're wanting to be kind, and they know they are supposed to be kind, but there are anger issues or reactivity or lack of respect. Those kinds of things that were possibly generational issues are coming out, and they just don't know what to think because they get a lot of guilt over it because they're trying to do what they're supposed to do.

"These dynamics show themselves under stress and, at certain times until people take a look at them and deal with them. Most people have defenses—ego defenses build up. And these defenses were necessary in childhood. Maybe they were being neglected by parents, so they became very independent, very responsible and met their own needs while in adulthood. This may keep them from being able to be vulnerable with other people and ask for help. ...

"If there are anger issues, a history of that in the family, then I would definitely recommend that they go to a counselor. These patterns get stronger as they're passed down from generation to generation."

For more about how to address the issue of generational dysfunction with Stephanie Murphy, listen to the entire podcast.

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