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Genograms Role in Family and Marriage Reflective Essay

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Updated: Dec 25th, 2019

My family consists of two women and one man. It is a single family because parents got divorced when I was fifteen. The family managed to cope with challenges as time went by. My mother had to bring up her two daughters and one son alone since my father was busy working. At the age of twenty-two, I got married and was blessed with a son a year later.

However, my marriage was terminated prematurely when I realized that my husband was playing games with my life. I decided to get divorced and move to a new place. I also got to know that my grandmother was forced to divorce my grandfather as well since he was cheating on her.

My aunt was a victim of domestic violence because she was frequently abused at home, which forced her to move out. My sister suffered from the same problem as my aunt did since she was accused of being obese. My second aunt, however, had a decent life that is admired by everybody in the family. It is not surprising because my grandmother was a benevolent person.

Marriage and Remarriage

The life circle of a family is spherical and rhythmic. This implies that we can start explaining the behavior of a family member from any point of view. From my experience, my family genogram can be analyzed starting from the time I turned fifteen. At the age of fifteen, I could remember every aspect of my life. My family genogram can be used to explain my behavior and that of my son.

When married, the genogram suggests that two people come together to form a single unit. Before marriage, each family has a life cycle, which is different for every family and each person consequently. For the two families to form a successful family unit they must appreciate their origins. The genogram offers adequate information regarding the connectedness of the two families.

Moreover, the genorgram helps in identifying the family roles of the couples before marriage. In many occasions, one spouse might compete for space in the family. In case this happens, the spouse would be engaged in constant conflicts, which might interfere with role-playing in the family. Conflicts arise when the family of one married couple disapproves the relationship.

Relatives, such as in-laws, might interfere with the relationship of the married individuals whenever they feel that the relationship goes against their expectations. Previous relationships may also interfere with the marriage of the newly wedded individuals.

From my parents’ marriage, it is eminent that the relationships of their parents interfered with their union. My grandfather left my grandmother because of unknown reasons. The same happened to my father who decided to quit without giving any valid reason. In my life, the same problem affected my marriage.

My first husband decided to quit without giving reasons. When analyzing genograms, it is very important to take note of the age of family members. At every age bracket, family members tend to go through a particular difficulty. However, the norms differ among families and are always changing.

Each culture has its specific norms and standards. In the life of an individual, history plays an important role in understanding his or her behavior. Though people have different histories, understanding a single aspect of history would help in explaining the behavior of an individual.

For children who go through difficulties in their lives, they might hate themselves and decide to engage in behaviors that might be dangerous to their survival. My two aunts and my sister were victims of societal injustices. My aunt engaged in sexual relationships at a tender age of fifteen because the society was against her. The behavior of my parents regarding marriage affected their children in many ways.

My father left my mother to engage in a sexual relationship with a young woman. From my father’s second relationship, a number of uncommon aspects are eminent. My father was over forty years yet he was having an affair with a young woman who mistreated my sister. My father’s girlfriend was almost my sister’s age mate. This could be the reason why she mistreated my sister.

It is true that their relationship could not last for long because the age difference would affect them as far as forming a new family was concerned.

There are some unclear issues regarding my father’s relationship. At age forty, he could be considered a grandfather whereas he married somebody close to his daughter’s age. One wonders why a young woman would agree to engage in a sexual relationship with mature man with children. This is surprising because my father never had huge investments.

From my father’s experience, it is true that unresolved issues may affect the relationship of an individual. Due to numerous challenges I faced in childhood, my relationship with my first husband could not continue. The unresolved issues in my childhood affected my first relationship. My engagement into married life was more complex because of the previous experiences.

Therefore, I entered into a new relationship with a number of unresolved issues. In other words, remarrying calls for commitment as far as the life cycle is concerned. In the second family, there are issues that must be improved. One of them are memories from the previous relations.

A child from the previous family is another issue to consider. When analyzing a genogram, the two must be taken into consideration. In my second marriage, the major challenge was to find a unified approach to my son and the children of my new partner.

Transition to Parenthood

Parents have a big responsibility of ensuring that they bring up their children according to societal rules and regulations. On the other hand, they have a responsibility of ensuring that their relationships with their marriage partners flourish. Genograms are used to identify some of the stressors that affect individuals at the parenthood stage.

It is noted that parents go through a number of challenges in ensuring that children are brought up in line with societal norms. Sibling constellation is used to analyze the strength of parents regarding the upbringing of children. Furthermore, sibling constellation is very important when understanding the circumstances surrounding the birth of a child.

In addition, scholars usually use genograms to comprehend mother-father-child relationships at the adulthood stage. From my family genogram, it can be seen that I am the middle born in the family of three. My birth marked the beginning of the life cycle of the second generation. My son would be affected by my second marriage.

A genogram suggests that the birth of the first child is more important as compared to the second marriage. I entered into the second marriage to safeguard the interests of my son. In particular, I wanted my son to have a father in his life. The father plays an important role in the life of the child. As soon as I married my second husband, my attention shifted to our new relationship.

The presence of children signified the legitimacy of our relationship. In my life, I always appreciated my grandmother because she worked alone hard to raise my mother. In fact, my relationship with her is very strong given the fact that she went through the same situation what I experienced in my first relationship.

My second husband’s conditions affected the whole family since our children depended on him in many things, including emotional support. This shows that evaluation of a life circle is also important as far as examination of life stressors is concerned. Traumatic events have tremendous effects on the life of an individual. When an individual loses something in life, it disrupts his or her life in a certain way.

The life of an individual cannot be normal once interrupted by things such as divorce and sickness. In my life, everything changed when my parents separated. Similarly, my life was affected when my first husband gave up bringing up the child. In this regard, an individual must reorganize his life in order to cope with the challenges.

For instance, I had to develop some mechanisms that would help me counter the challenges. Since I had no option, my life cycle seemed distorted. I even lost a sense of motion since I had to count many losses. This shows that a family genogram helps in tracking the losses in life over a given period.

Serious diseases tend to affect the confidence of the surviving members. After the death of my father, my siblings saw the need of uniting. In my current relationship, my husband’s health condition has affected the family in many ways. Children are demoralized when they realize that their father suffers from cancer. It is a challenge to me to convince them that their father will be well one day.

At times, I feel that our future is indefinite due to his condition. Similarly, the appearence of the child tends to threaten the position of other family members. Before I was born, my elder sister was treated with care and dignity. However, my presence always affected his position in the family.

First, she was treated badly because she was obese. As earlier noted, my father could bring presents to me and my brother but not my sister. My sister was a burden because of my presence. My father could count on me whenever he wanted the company of a girl child.

Families with Adolescents

From my family’s genogram, it is noted that my behavior was not consistent with the expectations of my parents. For instance, I engaged in heavy drinking and partying, which was unacceptable to my father. This affected my relationship with my father.

My aunt was bitter because the society never appreciated her body image. As she was approaching adolescence, she engaged in unprotected sex, something that caused a big problem in her life. At the age of twenty-one, she had four children. She was unable to bring up the children leading to government intervention.

Coping and Resilience

As earlier noted, my first relationship was not successful. Furthermore, I went through psychological trauma since my first husband could not support our only child. However, I had to develop some strategies to counter the traumatizing event. I had to be resilient because I had to continue with my normal life. I could not surrender since my son depended on me.

Since I was full of optimism, I bounced back to my previous state quite easily. In fact, I emerged stronger since I was hopeful and courageous. One of the strategies I employed was proactive coping. This means that I anticipated for problems in life. Even in my second relationship, the health condition of my husband never diverted my attention. Proactive coping entails anticipating for a problem.

The strategy helped me in coming up with ways through which I could handle challenges. I have always encouraged my children to be optimistic by simply avoiding negative reasoning. Since resilience is a process, my children have learned it with time. Apart from proactive coping, I have learned that associating with relevant groups would give me social support.


Genograms are very important in determining the behavior of family members. In my family, I am in a position to explain the actions of various family members by simply analyzing my family genogram. However, I have learned some ways through which I can cope with various traumatizing events. Therefore, my first relationship and the health condition of my second husband have never affected my life.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Genograms Role in Family and Marriage." December 25, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/genograms-role-in-family-and-marriage/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Genograms Role in Family and Marriage'. 25 December.

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