For most of us, our families, especially our parents, are an important part of our lives even after we grow up, move out and get married; but as an LDS marriage counselor, I can tell you that the relationship you have with your parents as a child must be different from the relationship you have with your parents as a married adult. Changing how much you rely on your parents for the kind of support you needed as you were growing up will allow your marriage to grow stronger when your spouse becomes the first person you turn to every day. Here are some ways the nature of your parent-child relationship must change after you get married:
You Must Limit The Amount Of Time You Spend With Your Parents.
Unless you and your spouse are living with your parents until you get on your feet or you have a parent who is physically disabled and needs help with day-to-day living, having one or more sets of parents around for extended periods of time can be an intrusion on your marital privacy that can hurt your relationship with your spouse. And though you may not mind your parents being in your home, your spouse may not enjoy watching television with your father every night or having your mother do his or her laundry. If both yours and your spouse’s relationships with your parents is strong, they will understand the need to set physical boundaries, especially if you take care not to hurt their feelings when you discuss the subject with them.
You Must Not Turn To Your Parents For Emotional Support Before Your Spouse.
As an LDS marriage counselor, I know how difficult it is to shift your focus from your parents and family to your spouse. But when you get married, your husband or wife must take precedence when it comes to seeking emotional support and emotional sharing. Bonding and intimacy happen when two people know they can rely on each other and know that they share thoughts and feelings that no one else is privy to. If you’re feeling down about a problem at work or you’re worried about one of your children, don’t call your mother or father first; talk to your spouse. If you’re excited about a promotion or something you’ve seen in the news, turn to your husband or wife before you turn to anyone else.
You Must Not Become Financially Entangled With Your Parents.
Once you get married, you must accept the fact that you are a grownup and that you and your spouse, not your parents, are responsible for your financial well-being. Of course, young couples often struggle with money; but when you turn to your parents for a loan, even for something insignificant, you’ll be allowing them to have a say in your marital finances, which often leads to hurt feelings and resentment. If you must ask your parents for money, it must be done with the full knowledge and consent of your spouse, with a definite timeline for repayment and only when absolutely necessary.
If you’re not sure how to handle your relationship with your parents now that you’re married, call me, Jody VanDrimmelen, at Insight Child & Family Counseling at (972) 426-9500 for an LDS marriage counselor. You can also visit www.j9n.83e.myftpupload.com to find out more about how I can help.