Thursday, April 5, 2018
Newlyweds are sometimes on a different planet. They're so in love that they live above everyone else. Unfortunately, often it is the couple's parents that rip them down off cloud nine. With problems like "Well, who's house are you going to for Christmas dinner? Ours or theirs?" And "Whose egg salad is better? Mine or hers?" A couple can find themselves in quite a predicament.
Add to this that each spouse is bringing their own parents beliefs into the marriage and it begins to pile up. Bernard Poduska says this, "As you begin your transition from single life to married life with children, be assured you will have to overcome difficulties. Many of these difficulties may originate in something else you brought with you to your marriage: your separate sets of 'family rules'.... Some of these [rules] will create conflict within the individual, and some will create conflict between the individuals. (Poduska, p. 26).
Even if both sets of parents stay out of a marriage, and let the couple grow into each other, their beliefs are shaping the way the marriage will unfold. It is important for couples to figure out which rules work for them from their earlier lives and which rules don't. There should be compromise and understanding in building new family rules and traditions.
Genesis 2:24 tells us "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife." We should be devoted to our spouses. This means we need to put our trust into each other and work together to make our new "marital identities". This is where they figure out what is important to them and share it. They figure out new values, rules, and traditions. As they begin to branch out from the life they knew as kids their parents should be understanding and helpful.
Often times, this is not the case. It is hard for parents to let go of their children. After all, they raised them,  scrubbed their laundry, changed their diapers, named them, kissed their boo boos, and made them who they are today (or at least shaped who they are today). In the cases where spouses to do not get along with their in laws it may help to remember that they did create the spouse that they love, so there must be something great in them. The authors of "Helping and Healing our Families" offers, "If a married couple finds a parent... to be disruptive... to their marriage, they can approach the problem together" (Harper, et al, p. 332). It is important for couples to do just that, solve problems together. If couples let their problems separate and isolate them from each other instead of using those times to find ways to grow closer their marriages will suffer. It is important to set up boundaries with people outside of the marriage to help create a happy and healthy marriage.
I have been blessed with a mother-in-law who is nothing but grateful to me for loving her son. She is lovely and loving. My parents love to spend time with our little family and show love and support in the best ways they know how. With a little work, some compromise, and appropriate boundaries a couple can have a great relationship amongst themselves and with other family members.
My side of the family. Love these inlaws!
Harper, J. M., and Olsen, S. F., (2005). "Helping and Healing our Families: Principles and practices inspired by "the family: a proclamation tot he world"". School of Family Life. Brigham Young University. Deseret Book Company. 
Poduska, B. E., (2000). "Till Debt Do Us Part: Balancing finances, feelings, and family". Shadow Mountain. Salt Lake City, Utah.

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