“I married his entire family: Not just him.” Inheriting each other’s’ family problems and how you protect yourself from them now.
In retrospect, there are several things that we would have done differently when we first became one. Needless to say, the first would have been to set boundaries with our families. As a newly married couple, we were naïve to believe that we would be one big happy family.
I love my husband, I loved him from the first day I laid eyes on him. But I never thought, when I married him, I would have to marry his family. I wasn’t told that. The Cosby Show only showed great healthy in-law relationships.
As most young couples, we faced financial challenges and shared too much information about our personal lives with family members. This later played a crucial part in the downfall of our marriage and was one of the leading factors to our ten-month separation. Unfortunately, we quickly learned that our personal business was out for many family members to offer their opinions and give unsolicited advice. Our personal affairs would be the hot topic at family gatherings and during nightly phones conversations. In addition, on occasion it could come up at some very inappropriate times in the presence of guests and special occasions. Due to my desire for my new family to like me, I turned a blind eye to how I was being treated and how it made me feel. I would grin and bear it and often would come home and cry myself to sleep due to the disrespect I would endure.
Don’t get me wrong, most of my in-laws are lovely people. But to say I wasn’t criticized, undermined and annoyed would be false. But in reality, this was considered “normal” according to my husband. Unsolicited advice on employment, breast feeding, finances and more came at our expense. Our feelings weren’t taken into consideration and we were often showed that the behavior displayed was acceptable. When I began to speak up about it, I was told that I was the one with the problem. I that time I knew a change was on the horizon. It would be vital for our sakes as we would not survive this way.
I guess there are some life lessons you have to learn on your own, ‘cause mama didn’t say there’d be days like this. Being the new guy on the block doesn’t feel so good when you get the impression that the family liked the “ex” better than you and they think you are stealing their baby from them.
Fifty percent off marriages fail due to two major factors are money and communication. Well, we faced challenges in both areas and still hadn’t factored our familial backgrounds into the equation. Our future looked less than bright to say the least. I was used to a two-parent household with a side of alcohol abuse and control issues. But, I married into generations of single-parent families, drug abuse, and a lack of control. As a man, the dynamics of her family were much less impactful to me than my family to her. Where she was concerned, I wanted to protect and provide. My problem was that I was trying to protect my wife from the things that she had grown accustom to, instead of protecting her from the things to which I had grown accustom. Ignoring behaviors and tolerating mannerisms was how I learned to live with my family. I never provided a solution to the problem but instead I expected her to deal with it how I had for done so for years which was to simply ignore it. It was when she had reach her max, I learned that your spouse doesn’t need you to devise a defense against the evil that they know. It’s the unknown that produces uncanniness. Couples, old and young, should create boundaries for your family from your family. It would be the only way you two can truly become one.
Mr. & Mrs. Tyson Speaking
This year will mark our 14th Wedding Anniversary and to say we have learned so much during this time would be an understatement. Actually, we are still learning as we are constantly evolving as individuals, as a couple, as ministers and as a brand. Our love for each has increased to a level that words cannot explain. Our gratification now comes from God which gives us the validation that we need. We seek him and invite him in all areas of our lives as he is our source all others are resources. Now that healthy boundaries are in place, we see a change in our lives and the lives of our children. We are no longer look for validation from our families. We pick and choose our battles but honestly, we haven’t had any as of late. We also discuss and vote on as a family which family trips and social gatherings we would like to be a part of, while still offering well wishes on those we decide to skip. In 2014, we recommitted ourselves to each other and our three children, we set boundaries and made goals that would benefit us as a whole. Having protocols in place that would protect us and our children has been a much-needed healthy balance.