How To Handle Extended Family In A Marriage

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3649652426_2e68e290c9_zAs an online divorce site, we see a number of issues arise that can lead to the split-up of a marriage, and one of the most common stems from the old adage that when you marry someone, you’re marrying their family. This is a true statement no matter what your initial love for one another says. Family can be as corrosive as it is unifying, and in order to keep your relationship strong, you need to keep the following in mind.

1. Fights should never involve the extended family. 

If you are married and have arguments with one another, you should resolve it with each other and not take the issues to a family member. On the one hand, the family member might start to alter their opinion of your spouse, thus causing animosity that can rub off on you over time. On the other, when you are marrying someone you are agreeing to work through issues for better or worse together. You won’t find solutions in the advice of an outside family member. You’ll find it within each other.

2. Major decisions that involve your extended family should never be made without consenting with your spouse first.

What comes to mind immediately with this point is agreeing to let a family member live with you without first putting the question to your spouse and reaching an agreement. Marriages are partnerships between two people, and you cannot make life decisions that will completely alter your spouse’s existence without giving them some input in doing so, even if it involves your extended family.

3. Your extended family should respect your spouse and not try to question their decisions just because. 

It’s one thing if your spouse suffers from a drug and alcohol problem and they are an immediate danger to you and your children. But when it comes to basic lifestyle choices, it’s not your extended family’s place to criticize your partner or your relationship. If that happens and you’re allowing it, then you are driving a wedge between you and your spouse that could very well destroy your marriage.

By keeping these factors in mind, your marriage will be in a much better place than it would be otherwise. Good luck as you navigate this tricky part of being married.

[Image via Flickr Creative Commons]
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