- My husband did something that I perceived to be wrong or hurtful.
- I turned to a parent, in my case, my mother to vent about the problem.
- I received comfort and a, “I’m so sorry that mean old husband of yours hurt you!” pep talk.
- I returned to my husband to eventually work things out.
- My mother never got to see or hear about the resolution, (because that wasn’t nearly as interesting or fun to tell her!).
- My mother formed a skewed perspective of my husband and my marriage.
- I avoided learning how to respect my husband AND didn’t learn how to work through my private conflicts with my husband—just between the two of us.
As a result, a wedge formed between me and my husband. And the foundation that we should have been building together was filled with cracks, since I had invited an intruder into the inner workings of our marriage.
After about five years or so of walking through a revolving door between my marriage and my parent-child relationship, I realized that I was not honoring my husband. I had not “left” my parents. I was not choosing to be a full-fledged adult* in my marriage relationship by fully “cleaving” or committing to my husband.
Now, I’m not saying that you can never talk to your parents about your marriage. But I am saying that your parents should not be your:
- Emotional Rescuer
- Financial Rescuer
- Director on important issues or decisions
If you allow your marriage to be infiltrated in those ways (and more) by your parents, then you are inviting division into your marriage. When you married, you needed to become an adult,* and adults do not rely upon their parents for emotional, financial or decision-making support.
In the book of Genesis it says,
“Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (2:22-24, NIV)
When I learned to follow this admonition, I solidified, strengthened and improved my marriage immensely. So, I hope you learn from my mistake!
How has turning to your mom and dad negatively impacted your marriage?
How have you and your spouse changed this bad habit?
*For those who are single, I am not saying you have to be married to become an adult – simply that I was not acting as an adult in “my” marriage.