Couple counseling can help you and your partner better define and reach your goals for the relationship. A good counselor teaches that one of the foundational ways to move up to a bigger and better relationship; is to learn how to leave other relationships behind.
Far too many people are struggling in their marriages because they continue to allow their parents to have a lot more input than they should. The comfort of having mommy or daddy take sides in a disagreement you are having with your spouse can be very tempting. We want to believe that our biological parents are objective and have our best interests in mind.
If we are honest with ourselves, we would admit that our dependence on them is limiting our capacity to bond and unite with our spouse. A lot of parents have conditioned their adult children to believe that they are responsible for the happiness of their parents. This is an erroneous belief at best, and a catastrophic one at worst. Parents who try to dictate the behavior of their grown children and their spouses are not giving them the necessary space they need to build a healthy family unit.
Many adult children are trying to do the right thing when it comes to maintaining a healthy bond with their parents. Unfortunately, they often feel torn between the sense of obligation to their parents and their obligation to their spouse. They can get caught up in trying to play the peace keeper between the two parties, when they really should be aligned with their spouse.
When we get married, our first priority becomes our spouse; not our parents, not our children, not our work, not our close friends. Clear boundaries need to be set for the couple to thrive in, and this does not mean the in-laws and out-laws will necessarily like the boundaries that are put in place. None the less, the relationship to the spouse must take top spot on a person’s list of priorities if the marriage relationship is going have a fighting chance.
Sadly, large numbers of parents will not understand and respect your decision to make your spouse your number one priority. They will whine like little children and use heavy doses of guilt and shame to try and get one or both of you to comply with their requests for more input into how your household operates. You must learn to resist; whatever the cost, however long it takes, you absolutely must learn to resist their overtures for greater control of your life.
If you don’t learn how to “leave and cleave,” you will live a long and tedious life full of very small moments of happiness and long drawn out days, months and years of nagging frustration. But now, with couple counseling can nourish your marriage and enliven your love for one another.