So you got married and just couldn’t anticipate the stress having family members could potentially have on your marriage. When the close relationship you have with your family causes conflict between you and your significant other, you figure “Hey, you already knew about my family dynamics before you married me, so why are you complaining about it now?”

We all have them. Mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, uncles, aunt and a partridge in a pear tree 🙂 But seriously though, we have to ensure that our relationship with our extended family isn’t interfering with our marriage – in any way whatsoever.

While we can’t throw away our families, we have to be aware that our spouse is now the bigger part of our life and we can’t put anyone’s needs above theirs. EVER! (Yes, even your mother who raised you as a single mom and gave everything to get you educated etc.). So you and your spouse have a lot of talking and agreeing to do regarding your plan on how to; handle family visiting, share your news with them, manage how involved (or not) they are in your lives etc., as soon as you begin preparing for life together (or ASAP if you are already married).

While communicating openly with your spouse regarding how you’d like to manage family and you find that your opinion is totally different from theirs on this matter, you have to both agree to find a middle ground that doesn’t exclude either person’s input. Remember, it is a marriage, not a dictatorship. Keep working on the plan till the both of you arrive at a compromise you can BOTH deal with. Don’t forget that these differences you might have, have stemmed from the different backgrounds you were both nurtured in and experiences that you gathered as you went through life. It doesn’t mean either of you is wrong, you just see things in a different light.

Ensure you talk with your family to let them know you have a new family now (but will never stop loving them) and this act in itself will cause them to respect the boundaries you have both laid out. Don’t fret by believing you are abandoning them, because you aren’t, you are merely starting life out with the one you love and need external distractions from family members to be very limited. Trust me, they won’t stop loving you just because they are no longer able to visit as often or poke their noses into your marriage at will.

Think about how happy that will make your marriage! Wouldn’t that be wonderful?!

I’d love to hear from you. Do you have family (including in-laws) that might require some straight-forward laid out boundaries? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to share this article with someone who might be struggling with overbearing family members. You never know how your input could help someone dealing with this issue in their marriage.

Thanks for continually leaning in to find better ways to LIVE in a healthy relationship!

Much Love,

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About ZeeZee

ZeeZee is a certified Relationship and Marriage Coach who believes her purpose in life is to equip couples with the right tools for a successful relationship. Through her website and YouTube channel she shares practical tips and principles that help couples understand the inner workings of a healthy marriage.