Mothers impact the way we see our relationships and the kind of partners we are with.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 21, 2020. It has since been updated.
There's nothing like having a mother's love soothe you and make you feel safe. Though not everyone gets to experience that, those who do enjoy her affection and warmth know there's nothing that can replace it. But there's more than just emotional safety in a mother's love. The way she treats you can affect the kind of relationships you get into as an adult.
According to Everyday Health, UCLA professor and psychiatrist Dr. Allan Schore wrote in his book Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self: “The child's first relationship, the one with the mother, acts as a template, as it permanently molds the individual's capacities to enter into all later emotional relationships.”
In a study conducted by the University of Buffalo, even if a teen's parents had conflicts or were having issues, their mother's affection could shield them from having insecurity and conflict resolution issues even as an adult in a romantic relationship. They came to the conclusion that "a mother's warmth and acceptance toward her teenagers may help prevent those children from being in an abusive relationship later in life, even if her own marriage is contentious," according to Science Daily.
In the study, a survey was conducted among 140 young people, whose parents were married or living together. 70 participants had a parent with an alcohol problem. During the course of this experiment, the survey was conducted twice: once when the participants were children in the eighth grade, and once when they were teenagers in their last two years of high school. The aim of the surveys was to report just how much they were exposed to the conflictive relationship between their parents, how they saw their mother, and whether they were also victims of violence.
The researchers found that children whose mothers did not share a loving bond with them were more exposed to the harmful effects of marital conflict. And as a result, they had abusive partners in their teens, something that they may have even gotten used to. However, children who were raised by positive, loving, and highly accepting mothers were less likely to be involved with abusive partners in adolescence, even if their parents’ marriages had been rife with conflict.
Here are four reasons why a mother's love can save you from being in an abusive relationship.
An unloved daughter can reel from scars that no one else can see for a long time. You would end up thinking that you were unacceptable as yourself and not worthy of being anyone's significant other. However, if your mother was affectionate with you and showed you her love, you believed that you deserve it. So with a partner, you won't settle for less.
When a loving mother protects you from the negativity and toxicity around, she is showing you what it means to feel safe. It's her way of letting you know that no one has the right to make you feel less than yourself. So you make sure that you don't let anyone else take advantage of you like that and hurt you.
When your mother was supportive of you despite obstacles that threatened to break you down, she showed you that she believes in you and your intelligence. With this kind of support system, it's hard not to feel good and have respect for yourself. She gave you the strength to leave if your partner treated you wrong.
A mother's acceptance can mean a lot especially when she expresses her appreciation to you, even if no one else does. This verbal acknowledgment showed you that communication was important between two people, especially with your partner. And her trust in you also proved to you that it is an important aspect of your relationship. She taught you that you deserve better and as a result, you do your best to walk away if your partner refuses to stop emotionally abusing you.
Your mom played a huge role in your life, whether good or bad. It doesn't change the fact that she was the one who could make you feel protected and save you from abusive relationships. Cherish her because one day, your daughter will look at you the way you looked at your mom.
Cover Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Terry Vine