Post # 1
Hi Bee’s –
FI and I have been arguing terrible the last few nights. It reached an AWFUL point last night, to a place I hope our relationship is never at again.
On the board I identify with SO many of you because of the strained relationships between your FI’s parents, or sibling. Honestly, most of the time I’m asking, what in the heck happened to get us here? I finally learned that these are all SYMPTONS from your FI not “Leaving His Parents To Cleave To You”. As a Christian, I believe that when a man becomes a Husband he must leave his mother and father behind, and be the leader led by God of his marriage. This is so much easier said than done.
Well, I realized that ALL the things my FI and I were arguing about we’re a result of him not leaving his mother behind. She literally hung up the phone on him last night after she got upset with me, and I had just about had it and was ready to elope.
I read this article this morning and it gave me SOO much prespective. I encourage any of you who are going through similar issues to talk about this with your FI.
“I believe virtually every marital problem can be traced to a failure to leave, a failure to cleave, or a failure to really cultivate that oneness of flesh” – quoted.
“Couples will often say, “Our problem is” —and then they’ll go on to list whatever the issue that they’re dealing with is. I oftentimes say, “No, your symptom is communication,” or your symptom is finances. I point them back to Genesis and say, “Your problem is either a failure to leave, a failure to cleave, or a failure to really establish the oneness in a marriage relationship.”
Hope this helps!
Post # 3
@Meant2Bee: agree with you so much. A lot of the strain that happened during my engagement was my conflicting desire to honor my very traditional Chinese parents while also trying to plan an American laid-back wedding with my very American fiance. Ultimately I made the right choice to stand by my fiance no matter what, even when my parents threatened not to show up at the wedding. Our relationship has been amazing ever since. Parents… will just have to come around.
Post # 4
@Meant2Bee: I agree as well! Goes for the future wife too! I am Jewish and we know this line well too. It is something that I have been working hard on. It is very hard because my mom is pretty controlling of the whole family, so in “leaving” her I get crap from the whole family. It is very hard and oftentimes families do not deal so well with their child leaving, especially the first one. I am sorry you are going through this. I hope your FI understands and realizes the part he plays in this. I also hope that you can realize that leaving and cleaving is a process, does not just happen all at once. But should have completed the majority of the process by the time you get married.
I think this goes for secular couples in general too, except said more like this- when you get married you are a team, and your team is your number one priority, and for that team to be successful you need to have each other’s backs no matter what!
I also realize in some other cultures this might not apply! Always important to consider that there are cultures that view these issues differently.
If you and your FI continue to have lots of problems with this, I highly suggest pastoral pre-marital counseling for you two! This counselor would probably be very happy to discuss that line and others from the Bible with you and help the two of you work together to incorporate it into your coming marriage. And if FI’s mother is difficult to figure out how to deal with, they have a lot of experience that could help with that too.
Post # 5
Commenting to follow; I’m also a Christian and this topic is of great interest to me-especially as to how the “cleaving to one’s spouse” plays out practically within a marriage.
Thanks for the link!
Post # 6
@melonseeds: Glad you made that decision, saved your marriage!
Post # 7
I think a lot of bee’s will benefit from reading this, as this is a common theme among the boards, of not being able to cut the apron strings. For us, we haven’t had the failure to leave but certainly struggle in failing to create a oneness, which is something we’re working on. I don’t know if it’s personality types, or getting married in our 30s, (probably a combo) but we’ve struggled with being one unit at times, instead of doing what we want. Being one unit and working on our oneness certainly fosters a stronger relationship between us and the other things that seem to be problems tend to resolve themselves. Good post.
Post # 8
@nawella: Agreed, My FI and I already have an appointment to see a counselor. Though I am praying for God’s guidance, I know we need help.
We are both AA, and in our culture, it’s very typical for males to be overly attached to their mothers.
After reading more into this, I am much more understanding, instead of angry, about this.
Post # 9
@Meant2Bee: i am not christian, but i do think this article makes some important points about healthy boundaries with our parents. i think the examples of private emotional information about your spousal relationship, holiday visits, money, and decision-making are good ones.
this stuff takes time though. my husband and i have worked on it for over 7 years and the holidays are still so difficult, mostly because my mom holds holidays up as being hugely significant and tries to guilt-trip us to be there for each one.
Post # 10
@Meant2Bee: “I believe virtually every marital problem can be traced to a failure to leave, a failure to cleave, or a failure to really cultivate that oneness of flesh” – quoted.
Sorry, I don’t buy it. I think that line will cause more trouble than good in the end. While it is great that councelling is going to help, you have to drop the notion that “virtually every martial problem” can be traced to one source.
Marital problems come from extrmal things (like the fact you need two working adults to buy a home these days)…
…college loans that add marital stress
So, perhaps this is a legitimate problem for your relationship, but don’t make it everything…that may be more hamful than the problem itself.
Post # 11
@Meant2Bee: Good for you! I takes a lot of courage to go to counseling but it is an act of love for you and your partner to do that! I hope it is a blessing for you! I think if you care this much and are this thoughtful about your marriage the two of you will be successful together!
Post # 12
Thanks for sharing this. I have shared this article with my fiancé as I felt it was important for us both to read. Setting up our own family unit is vital but also so is keeping and maintaining relationships with our parents. So now is the tricky part, “cutting the apron strings” without cutting the relationship off.
Post # 13
@searock: I respect your opinion.
@FromA2B2013: exactly how I feel. I think I am going to brainstorm on ways to “honor” his mother, keep a good relationship, but cut the apron stings at the same time.
Post # 14
@Meant2Bee: let me know what you come up with!
I think the one about not criticising your spouse to your parents and defending them if they say anything bad about them is a really good one. Sadly in our relationship I am more likely to be defending him against his own than mine.
Also establishing your own family traditions and routines
Making important decisions as a couple.
To show a united front on ALL matters, even if you may not agree entirely I think it is important to show that you support each other in decisions, especially in “public”. This is particuarly important with “controlling parents” who are looking for ways to split couples apart.
Just a couple of ideas!
Post # 15
@Meant2Bee: I am not religious, so those examples don’t resonate with me. However, I do believe that both parties (not just the man) have to make their new family the main priority. Am I going to leave my family behind? Of course not. But they don’t retain the #1 position in my life anymore either. If FI ever privileged what his mother said over what I wanted, he would not be my FI. I don’t play second to anyone and I couldn’t deal with half the antics I read about on the boards.
Post # 16
@FromA2B2013: The united front is VERY true. Everytime we have a conversation, my FMIL says “Well clearly that’s what Meant2Bee wants” and even when FI says “No it’s what WE want” it’s beyond obvious that were are not a united front.
@MrsPanda99: Understand where you are coming from. I myself cannot believe I am going through this.