Broken Children Living in Adult Bodies Create Broken Relationships

by Yvonne Chase on September 17, 2018

Broken Children
The other day while scrolling Instagram, my eyes landed on the following image and caption below about broken children. It really spoke to me because day in and day out, I receive emails from random readers about the brokenness in their marriages. At the root of much of their pain is unaddressed stuff that was passed on to them that they never took the time to unpack before saying, I do. Take a read and we’ll talk after:


Passing it on and on and on. Pattern after pattern…dynamic after dynamic…fear after fear…message after message. It just keeps going from generation to generation if we don’t stop, pull back, and take a look at ourselves. Take a look at our hurt…our pain…our tragedies.

We have to learn ourselves. We have to understand the family system we were a part of. We have to understand the roles we had within that system, and how those roles either empower or keep us stuck now. We have to understand the messages (verbal or non) that were given to us growing up; about culture, religion, gender, race, tradition, education, sex, family, love, communication….etc.

How did we know we were loved?
Did we really?
How was it demonstrated?
Were we listened to?
Was our voice honored?
What narratives get repeated over and over again?
Which ones keep us playing small?

Too often we just go along with the course. We keep aging without getting wiser…without gaining and growing along the way. Do not just live in your body as a hurt soul. Do not just mimic an adult life and go through the steps.

We are not broken. We just have stories. Stories that are waiting to be listened to and understood. Stories that will, with time, catapult us further. Pain is our information. Our wounds and fears are our space for transformation. So don’t just be a broken child living in an adult body. Learn your pieces and then transform. Create the change. Change the patterns. Be the person the next generation thanks for your commitment to self and relational growth. @mindfulmft

Repeated And Passed Down
I am extremely passionate about the work single people need to do in our individual lives before we enter into romantic love and then marriage if that’s the next step. As I watch those close to me and observe others from afar, I see pattern after pattern, dynamic after dynamic, behavior after behavior, circumstance after circumstance and so on being repeated and passed down from generation to generation.

Step Away From The Dating Scene
This happens because we never took the time to really look at and examine what we come from. You can’t fix what you don’t face or change what you don’t confront. Going on dates while single is great and par for the course, however, I implore you to step away from the dating scene for a while to get with yourself and look closely at what you come from and what’s been passed on to you. 

Chain Reaction
My pastor spoke a powerful message recently titled The Power of Influence. It was all about how each of us is influenced either positively or negatively by our environment; what we come from, the people closest to us, how we grew up, our culture, etc. It was also about how we are influencing others because of how we are being influenced. It’s a chain reaction. Some chains need to be broken if we want to influence others differently.

Next Generation
With God’s help, I am intentionally looking at my hurt, my pain, and my tragedies. I’m committed to learning my pieces and transforming. I hope I am the person the next generation thanks for my serious commitment to self and relational growth. Thankfully, I’m not the only one. It’s refreshing to me when I hear Caribbean colleagues tell me they’re going to counseling and or seeking therapy.

A Dose Of Therapy
You see, in my culture, it’s passed down from generation to generation that you don’t get counseling or go to therapy. If you do, you are crazy or mentally ill or something is wrong with you. It’s shamed in such a nasty way that simply does not make sense because life happens to all of us. What’s funny and sad at the same time about this to me is, every Caribbean person I know could benefit from a dose of therapy and or counseling. 

Going Through The Steps
A colleague told me recently of her and her husband’s journey to counseling. For a long time, she wouldn’t seek help because of what her culture/family would say and think, however, now that they are expecting twins and have had a rough road in their marriage, they see the importance of doing whatever it takes to create a different outcome for their children. They are no longer interested in mimicking an adult life and going through the steps and most importantly, they want their children to know it’s okay to seek help. 

Something to think about…

What say you? How important is it to examine what we come from whether we marry or not? Is seeking help; counseling and or therapy taboo in your culture? 

Here are 2 things I’d like you to do now:

1. Leave a comment below

2. Share this post if you like it

Calleen Petersen September 20, 2018

I agree wholeheartedly with this. Your title drew me in because it is so true.
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Yvonne Chase September 26, 2018


Thanks for reading. Unfortunately, it is very true. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to remain true if we have the courage to look at what we come from and what’s been passed down to us.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…Who Pays On A Date Is NOT A Complicated QuestionMy Profile

Michele Morin September 21, 2018

Yvonne, I do appreciate your strong and wise voice.

Karen Del Tatto September 21, 2018

Thanks for sharing these great insights. Someone I care for deeply is in a marriage to a very broken “child in an adult’s body”. They have buried the pain so deep that they have now idealized their childhood and people please their entire family. Unfortunately, it’s not really buried because it manifests itself in a harmful way toward the person I care about within the marraige. That and the fact that this broken person knows their is deep seeded pain, but is afraid to go to counseling to deal with it.

It is sooo heartbreaking to watch, and to your point, to see the next generation become effected by it would be devastating. It can be dealt with. But I don’t walk in that persons shoes. So I don’t want to judge, but again, you desperately want to see them get better, but they won’t help themselves.

So to your point, I TOTALLY agree that before anyone enters into marriage, they must assess themselves and their spouse because as I have witnessed, it can have devastating effects if marriage is entered into.

Yvonne Chase September 26, 2018


And that is why I wrote this post. I, too, have witnessed what you’re witnessing. The effects are indeed devastating. It’s so painful to watch because you and I both know it doesn’t have to be this way.
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Amy @ The Quiet Homemaker September 25, 2018

Such a great post! I know that I brought a lot of emotional baggage from my childhood into my marriage. I am so thankful for an understanding husband, and a God who loved me too much to leave me the way that I was.

The cycle is real, and we must be the ones to break it!

Thanks for linking up @LiveLifeWell!



Yvonne Chase September 26, 2018


The cycle is very real and must be broken by every means necessary otherwise it just continues as we pass it on from one generation to the next.
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Gayl September 25, 2018

I know people like this and it is heartbreaking. Yes, we should examine our lives, where we came from, what we were taught…. and measure it by God’s word. He will help us face them and move forward in His strength. But yes, I do agree that sometimes therapy is needed to help someone face and get through the things passed down to them. It was kind of taboo when I was growing up, but I have come to realize that we humans are complicated and sometimes we need someone else to help us get through. Blessings to you! I’m your neighbor at #TrekkingThru.

Yvonne Chase September 26, 2018


Gods word is the absolute standard. I’m sure counseling and therapy are taboo for many. You’re right, we humans are complicated and sometimes we do need help to get us through. Nothing wrong with asking for help. That’s how wisdom looks.
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Trina Taylor September 25, 2018

Your boldness and honesty is refreshing. I can cosign your thoughts about Caribbean culture. They do not believe in counseling, even Biblical. Therapy or anything of the sort is taboo.

You’re shamed to your grave, labeled as crazy and called every derogatory name in the book if you speak of getting help.

Nothing funny about it at all. It’s very sad!

Yvonne Chase September 26, 2018


It’s indeed very sad and it makes no sense whatsoever. The best Christian doesn’t have it all figured out and could use a little help. There is no shame in seeking help. It’s what wise people do.
Yvonne Chase recently posted…I Was Called To Marry HIMMy Profile

Richella J Parham September 27, 2018

PREACH! So much wisdom here. Thank you for sharing it and for not holding back. I appreciate your candor and boldness.

Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!
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Rachel Lee September 27, 2018

This is great! And thank you for speaking up about the benefits of counseling. I was raised to believe that to seek professional help was weak, or made christian’s appear weak. This cannot be further from the truth! We all have stories, as you said. Sometimes it’s necessary to revisit those stories, examining them, bringing light to them. I think it can certainly be beneficial in marriages, where we are bringing two people together as one! That’s not often an easy task.
Great thoughts here!

Rebecca Jones September 28, 2018

It’s people of all kind who won’t get counseling,for the shame of it or just refusal, and a lot of men. They don’t get that the head or the house has to answer to Jesus. And He gives us His Spirit, even if you have no one to turn to, and He bore guilt ans shame on the cross and mental afflictions, so much more than we even know.

DGKaye September 29, 2018

Much truth in all you say. And the quote is absolutely perfect! 🙂

Kathleen Bailey October 4, 2018

This is a great post. I’m not single but I learned from what you said.
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