Anyone doing an In-Law Covenant?

posted 3 years ago in Christian
Post # 2
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I would not do this.  I think there are more effective ways to push back on parents.

Post # 3
6896 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I would not do this. I think a conversation should be sufficient. If I were your FMIL and I was already struggling with letting my son go I would not appreciate being asked to sign something about my behavior.

Post # 4
1928 posts
Buzzing bee

We did a blessing at the wedding for both parents. Basically it was about how htey have raised their child and loved us and are now consenting to this marriage and promise ti support us etc… Each set of parents in turn said “we do”. We also did one with the congregation as witnesses promising to support our marriage. Perhaps doing something like this is less “in your face”?

  • This reply was modified 3 years ago by  stargurl101.
Post # 7
7907 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

Meant2Bee:  i think it is only ok to do this is the in-laws are able to either write their own that you guys agree to sign and abide by too or if you write one together so that both parties are represented. Otherwise it is just you demanding what you what and that is just trouble for any relationship.

Post # 8
2613 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Meant2Bee:  This sounds like a spectacularly bad idea.  You are going to offend both sets of parents and possibly cause a huge blow-up right before your wedding.

Frankly, it’s not your place to issue marching orders to your parents and treat them like children by demanding they sign off on them.

Of course you are within your rights to establish and enforce boundaries but not this way.  You and your FI decide what’s okay and what’s not and how you will handle any unwanted or intrusive behavior and then you do it when/if you need too.

Post # 10
6896 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Meant2Bee:  you know your FMIL best. What does your FI think? I just know if I asked my MIL to do this she would be very offended and it would probably make things worse. I think that if a conversation doesn’t help to solve problems then asking her to sign a covenant will ust make things worse but like I said, you know her best.

Are you letting them write anything into the covenant?

Post # 11
3757 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Meant2Bee:  I would not feel the need to fomally write these down and sign. I mean, it’s not actually a contract. Are you going to make it pocket sized and point to it when FMIL is a bitch face? I think you need to continue to have open, frank discussions with FI, your parents and your in-laws. I think something like this is best for you and your FI to capture so you two know where you stand on life’s important issues. To incorporate parents into a “covenant” about YOUR marriage, to me, is cray.

Post # 13
585 posts
Busy bee

This is a strange one to have included under “secular”. 

I’m another vote for not doing it, although it’s not a tradition I know, so that might be why I don’t get why you would do this.

Post # 14
2481 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I can’t honestly see how a set of rules is going to sit at all well with someone who has had difficulty letting go of their son. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it’ll create far more problems. Especially if your ILs have had no say at all in how this covenant is worded.

I’m a MIL. I’ve never interfered in my sons’ marriages or relationships since I know too well how unhelpful this sort of controlling behaviour is from experiencing it with my former MIL. What I also know is that any sort of covenant presented to my former MIL would have had the metaphorical effect of lighting the blue touch paper. In other words, if she’d been difficult before, the existence of a covenant would have been the quickest route to making her completely impossible.

So I’d tread warily. 

Post # 15
1239 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

Oh, not a chance. Even really good in-law relationships are extremely delicate, and asking anybody to sign anything indicates that you do not take them at their word. Even if that’s secretly true (ha), it is not the message you want to send when marrying into a family. 

Even if you have had a history of issues with your FMIL, remember that everyone looks at situations differently (and in such a way that puts themselves in the most favorable possible light). Even if your “in-law covenant” has some very good points in it, and even if she’s violated those rules in the past, trying to dictate her behavior in the future will come across badly to her — the phrase that jumps to mind is “screaming before you’ve been hit.”

Just talk the boundary issue over with your FI in private. Decide what your united front as a couple will look like — what you will accept, what you will not, and how you will communicate with family and/or deal with violations of your boundaries if/when they happen.

In my experience, managing in-law issues on a case-by-case basis, and from a place of good humor/lightness/unity with your spouse, trumps a blanket proclamation banning Behaviors X, Y and Z any day. Especially if you are dealing with someone who already thinks of you as taking away her son. 

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