Single Sisters Speak Out

The Modern Life of the Single Sister

Am I Damaged?? October 2, 2009

Filed under: Single Sisters On... — Holly GoLightly @ 9:14 am


A couple of weeks ago while perusing Facebook I came across a male  friends status that read:

SOME women and men don’t know how to nurture relationships because they grew up in broken marriages themselves. They have no template of commitment, and it reflects in how they go about their own relationships. I notice a distinct difference in …the attitude, habits, and morals of a woman raised in a married house than a woman raised in a divorced or single household. Why is that?

This status struck a nerve with me and I had to respond immediately, because not only did I disagree but I felt that by being a woman who was raised in a divorced household I was being stereotyped even though he said “some”…..  In addition, it put me into a little deja vu moment of a conversation I had with my ex a  few years ago about the same topic. He also felt that women from divorced homes were very different from women who were raised in a house with both parents. His stance was that women who are raised in divorced homes didnt know how to be submissive (kinda funny when I think about this cause at 21/22 I don’t know if we truly knew what it meant to be “submissive”) and too independent…. kinda parallel to homie who wrote the status message.

I guess I was the first female to either see the status or maybe the first eager to put my voice of opinion out there, but I immediately responded with:

WHOA WHOA WHOA Mister… what have you observed??? Being that I am from a divorced home. I feel that I possess the same attitudes, habits, and morals as someone who may have grew up in a household where the parents were married. Also you have to look at the home life just because their parents are married doesnt mean that they are happy… I know that sometimes not having a positive relationship with your dad will affect how you approach and handle relationships, but if you did then it’s different. Like my parents divorced when I was 4, but I saw my dad everyday and in addition my dad and stepmom have been married for almost 25 years. I feel as though I have seen both sides of the fence- the single parent and the married happily ever after…. so my approach on relationships comes from the happily ever after and I don’t carry into relationships the reason my parents divorced.

And this is something I truly feel. I don’t think that my parent’s demise of compromise ever played a part in how I act in relationships or believe my role should be in a relationship. I honestly feel that I did see both sides of the fence. With my mom I saw how hard it was to raise a child by herself, even though she had help from my grandmother and aunt, but at the end of the day I was her sole responsibility. My mom never got remarried, but she did have a boyfriend who she has been with since I was maybe 6 or 7. I’ve never asked why she didn’t get remarried and her boyfriend has proposed on several occasions, but I’m sure it’s because she doesn’t want to put herself through the pain of divorce proceedings and other BS that comes along with the dissolution and liquidation of a marriage. One thing I really admire about my mom is that she never spoke ill about my dad to me. Just cause she felt a certain way she never attempted to taint my views of my father or men period. She never created the thought that are men are shat. She did however tell me that everybody isn’t for everyone. To me she allowed me to keep my Cinderella/Sleeping Beauty fairy tale ending thoughts. Now on the other side with my dad and stepmother who’ve been married for 23 or 24 years. I am able to see the ups and downs of marriage and how conflict is handled in a loving and Godly manner. Not to mention I know what my stepmom has to put up with from my dad and vice versa. So with having these two dynamics in my life I feel that when I approach a relationship I don’t bring in the bad that I’ve witnessed but the good. I definitely don’t come in the door singing Kanye’s Love Lockdown. I try to keep and maintain my rosy colored lenses while sipping from the half full glass of Ciroc Gimlet! What’s even more interesting to me about this subject is that my friend is not the only guy that I have come across that feels women from single family or divorced homes have issues and are difficult to deal with in relationships. There are several men who feel this way. I hardly hear women break down or discount a man based on the kind of marital status home he came from. I know for sure that I’ve never looked at a man from a single parent home or divorced home and thought this ninja will not be any good cause he is fostering so many problems and issues, he probably think all women are gold diggers trying to come up on spousal support. So it hurts  me to hear that men think like that about women.

So my question for men is do you subscribe to the same thought? If yes, what are your feelings and why? To the ladies how do you feel your parental situation affects how you are within relationships? To both genders do you see some validity in my friends thought?


27 Responses to “Am I Damaged??”

  1. I’ve blogged about this myself as well. The issue is not if the woman came from a married household, it’s if she came from a GOOD married household. Just two people claiming to be husband and wife means nothing. If her father beat her moms, cheat without discretion, and things like that, she’ll be no “better” than a typical a woman raised in a single parent home.

    But I have noticed a big difference in the women that grew up with a good father versus those who did not. It’s HUGE. It’s almost like the different between a straight hoodrat and a woman with class and elegance. They still all want attention, they still all like men, but what they are willing to do, and how they carry themselves around men are like the differences between night and day.

  2. Holly GoLightly Says:

    Hey undressingHER! so you think women raised in single parent homes have issues?

  3. Holly GoLightly Says:

    Going over!!

  4. FlawedBeauty Says:

    Hmm…I was raised in a single parent high school (starting from age 12) and I don’t think I have issues….mainly because I always saw my Dad and he was there during what I consider formative years.

    Recently, someone asked me about my Dad and I said …”oh he’s sitting right here” and the guy said “whew…now I know you don’t have man-bashing tendencies…I was kinda confused at that, because I couldn’t see why he would think that

    But then..when I survey my friends…I find the ones who are from broken homes at an early age don’t have the best outlook on men…especially if their mothers talked ill of their fathers (and face it, Holly’s mom is a rarity)

    I think there’s much more to it than talking bad or divorce, etc.

    It’s all in how the situation played out..

  5. My parents are married… but I don’t think it makes me different from all women who were raised by single parents.. mind u, SOME of them have issues, just like SOME of women like me have issues.

    I don’t think my parents are happily married… they’ve taught me what NOT to do in a relationship.

  6. Holly GoLightly Says:

    @Jac- “It’s all in how the situation played out..”

    I agree! Thats when you have to get granular about someone’s home life…

    @Nick- “they’ve taught me what NOT to do in a relationship.”

    Good statement Nick! I think my parents gave me two road to look at… now it’s up to me what road I will travel!

  7. “Good statement Nick! I think my parents gave me two road to look at… now it’s up to me what road I will travel!”

    Exactly, Hol!

  8. Holly GoLightly Says:

    So commenters thus far why don’t we look at men in this type of scope? Do guys differ based on the home environment??

  9. FlawedBeauty Says:

    Good statement Nick! I think my parents gave me two road to look at… now it’s up to me what road I will travel!

    For all of us…I choose to take the road they didn’t take…although my parents are really good friends 🙂


    Right…a friend’s parents were separated but not divorced…he worships his dad, but saw his dad run around and he’s like I will NOT be doing that…sometimes you see things and it changes you instead of reinforcing the behavior…

  10. Martin and Gina Says:

    My experience has been that I have run into women who have had volitle relationships with their mother’s. Not enough love from them, or just butted head with them all the time on just the simple stuff. And that led to issues when it came to men. They always leaned too much on a man for that love and comfort. Where the man becomes her family and all she has versus trying to repair the situation at home.

    It becomes an issue later because this guy has power over her because he is all she has. And if the situation is not a good one or turns sour then it is hard for her to let go because there is no other support system for her.

  11. Holly GoLightly Says:

    “sometimes you see things and it changes you instead of reinforcing the behavior…”

    I agree with this!

    @M&G- I agree… that’s a sound observation.

  12. I absolutely agree with this sentiment (! I exclaim this to both women and men all the time. I just try not to do it in a “you’re a bad woman, bad, bad woman” sense and definitely haven’t related it to submissiveness. In relation to the above blog I wrote, I actually got some serious slack from men because they felt I was trying to be runner up in my own household. That was by no means my stance (but I write my blogs with a certain slant to provoke conversation . . .so I expected it . . .even the title makes most men say, “is he nuts?”).

    the truth is, women get their first feelings, ideas, understandings of how to be loved by a man from their father. coming from a MARRIED household where the man is present doesnt’ secure the fact that the love he transmits will be done in the proper manner that educates and sets the standard for how a woman should be loved in her personal relationships. however, if that man is a good man in her life (even if the marriage is dissolved and he still upholds his duties as father to that young woman), that woman is likely to have a better foundation in her personal relationships.

  13. Holly GoLightly Says:

    Hi Robert Weaver

    “however, if that man is a good man in her life (even if the marriage is dissolved and he still upholds his duties as father to that young woman), that woman is likely to have a better foundation in her personal relationships.”

    I agree with this completely.

  14. Khristal Says:

    That is some real stuff right there. I have many friends that grew up in broken homes and they will say…it has tainted their love lives.

  15. That Guy Says:

    We are all products of our environments and although things and we all learn by what we see and observe. I thinks it’s almost naive to believe that we don’t bring a little bit of our upbringing into relationships, because that’s all you really have. You only know what you’ve experienced everything else is secondary info, which leads to plying with fire, but I wont digress. By the mere fact that your comparing the two examples, gives room to my argument, that once your exposed, there’s no denying that it had an effect, and thats normal.

    Now I don’t believe it’s all gloom and doom, people can learn as much from bad mistakes as they can from good examples, it’s all in how you process it, and everyone processes differently, but you will process…

    I’ve dated women from both single and broken homes, and to be honest, those from married homes vs. divorced families are a lot more secure in themselves and aren’t looking around the corner, but those can also have a false sense of security and understanding of what negatives can occur, i.e. they take the relationship for granted. Doesn’t make either of them better or worse. I have dated women from broken families who were really committed to trying to make things perfect, but for the wrong reasons. It all boils down to motives, because at the end of the day, thats what drives the individual, and individuals make up relationships. Although there are statistics that say the women from divorced homes are more likely to be divorced or not marry at all, I’m sure the same could be said for men, I just haven’t read it, yet…

    I feel as long as someone is a “whole” person, has character, can recognize the world as it really is and has realistic expectations, thats all you have to go on. I would never discount a quality prospect because of the decisions there parents made, I take people individually and allow them to prove (or not) themselves on their own merit.

    – Can’t tell a book by where your brought it….

  16. this idea shouldn’t be seen as a negative. really, if the person comprehends that any ones perspective regarding anything is influenced by their rearing and environment, they can make necessary adaptations, learning, changes, etc. for the betterment of their lives. people take this so personal as a personal reflection of who they are despite the fact that their coming from a home structure where the male wasn’t present, or male wasn’t significant in their lives wasn’t by their own doing.

  17. Reecie Says:

    Are you/I/we damaged? probably so. but we all have some structural damage, so to speak. I dont know anyone that grew up with a perfect life–two parents, one parent or none. its always something.

    my parents were never married, my mom married twice once when I was 8 (and quickly separated) and again when I was 21–but she was with my stepdad for over 10 years before they finally decided to marry. I admit I have some daddy issues still even though I grew up with a father figure (my step dad) and he’s taught me a lot being in my life and being there to support me and my mother when he absolutely didnt’ have to. I am independent because I watched my mother be superwoman, and I also saw how she embraced having my stepdad in her life. I’m not perfect, I feel my experiences shaped me for the better–to be better than my circumstances, and I’m working hard everyday to be a good person and S/o. thats really all one can ask for.

  18. The Sphinx Says:

    I agree that no one’s family is perfect. There had to have been at least one issue for us all. And your upbringing definitely has an impact on how you view the world, but as a young adult, into adulthood, you begin to gather experiences that will start to shape your views according to those new – your own – experiences. So, if you grew up in a household that caused you to view relationships negatively, it seems like at some point, you’d reassess the situations of the adults that were in that relationship to see what they were or weren’t doing right. And then you’d tailor your own actions based on that, and keep working on them as you go.

  19. A.Jaye Says:

    I’m a bloke – raising that question to men my knee jerk reaction is to say ‘yes’. Having said that I don’t see the difference between myself and friends/family/workmates etc in how we treat women; It’s a personality free for all.

    My parents seperated when I was eight. I was raised in a single parent home. I’m wary of marriage to the wrong ‘un. Gotta get it right ‘cos I abhor divorce. The effect on children, families and society at large is catastrophic.

    So I’m still waiting and searching. I hope I haven’t missed the bus.

  20. inHIcotton Says:

    I never date men who were children of divorce or who were non-marital children. It’s not that they are damaged goods. It’s just that their blues are not mine. Hassle trying to convince an adult person that marriage is worth the effort or attempting to teach a grown man how it’s done. I want to partner with someone who has seen the gender roles play out in a marriage context for 30+ years. Irrespective of race, I only consider men with advanced degrees who come from 2 parent homes.

    It’s a terrible thing to see an adult man frown about his absent father or dismiss his stepmother or rule out the entire concept of marriage based on his parents’ failures. I wish I could help such men, but I’m not a therapist.

  21. Liryc Says:

    I am from a single parent household. My mom was the man and the woman in the family and I think that I have a very positive outlook on marriage and all. She explained to me the reason why she was a single mom. She never bashed men in front of me.

    I’ve had my issues in relationships but I don’t think that its because of the fact that I didn’t grow up in a two parent home. Some people need to make their own deductions as they get older. Sometimes you can’t lay blame on what you saw. You have to deduce things on your own and see how they influence or effect you!

  22. FlawedBeauty Says:


    At the risk of blowing my top I am going to ask if by chance you have a significant other? If so, where did you find him? Outer space?

    I’m gonna blog about this.

  23. […] Originally Posted Here Share and Enjoy: […]

  24. Anonymiss Says:

    I don’t think all women who come from a two-parent household think one way and all women coming from single parent homes think another. I have close friends from both single parent and two-parent homes and none of us think exactly alike. Growing up, most of my friends were from single parent homes, like myself… and we all carried out relationships differently. Yes, we all came from single parent homes but some had never lived with their fathers, while others had stepdads or some other positve male role model to replace their father, and still some came from divorced homes. The unique experience of a woman, whether she be from a married or single parent home, does affect how she acts in a relationship but there are many more factors involved then just whether or not both of her biological parents raise her. My mother was married to my father, divorced him when I was around 6 or 7. He was abusive. He’s been in an out of my life ever since and a few years ago chose to sever all contact with me. This greatly affects my perception of men and I’ve only begun to realize how big of an affect my parent’s relationship and my relationship with my father has had on my perception of men and people in general. But I think it has more to do with me coming from an abusive home and never having a supporting father because had my parents divorced and he still been there for me and loved me then things would have been different. I am not dominant or overly independent, I’m just fearful……

  25. Anonymiss Says:

    @Holly GoLightly Says:So commenters thus far why don’t we look at men in this type of scope? Do guys differ based on the home environment??

    This is a question I ask people all the time. I’m in college right now and sometimes black student organizations will have meetings about black relationships or other black social issues and it’s really annoying that the focus always seems to be on women. The only thing men ever get accussed for is cheating but that stereotype seems to apply to all men whereas black women have a lot of stereotypes exclusively applied to them. I think men coming from “broken” homes have far more “issues” than women…. I think it is far more damaging for a man to not have his father present in his life than for a woman (although it is very damaging for us too). I can only imagine what would have happened if my mother had a son and he had gone through the same experiences as my sister and I.

  26. NickNacks Says:

    I believe the same can be said for guys in ” broken homes”. I once dated a guy whose mother openly cheated on his father and pretty much rubbed it in his face. The men basically share her and are fine with it. This I thinnk has had a tremendous effect on thier son who has severe problems with monogamy, allowed himself to be treated poorly by everyone, and after I told him I no longer loved him and wanted to date other guys he still hung around. YIKES!!!!
    But to speak from my experiences growing up, I grew up in a single parent houshold and I can say that I have issues with guys at times. These issues stem from my fierce independence and my not being able to let any man lead me, I beleive this may come from my childhood and never seeing a man in leadership role. I have no pateince for any percieved weakness in a man and will dominate him if I can. SO SAD BUT TRUE!!!

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