Tuesday, 20 October 2009

And then there were others..

What role do you see your parents, siblings and extended family playing in your relationship?

I asked my sister to choose a number from 1-20 and she chose 13 so today I'll talk about the role of the extended family in a relationship. I'm beginning to realise that being in love with someone is more than being in love with someone. I'll explain, I love Mr O, because I love him as a person (one person) I have to accept and love ALL that he is. His strengths, his weaknesses, his mistakes, his friends, his family, his assets and liabilities, his past. I cannot say yes to him and begin to pick and choose what I want and what I don't. Truthfully, I find this sometimes scary because I wonder if I'm really up to the task but well....

I come from a close knit nuclear family, I don't have close relationships with my uncles/aunts on either parents side. Long story for another day. I love my family, I really love my family sometimes too much I think if that's possible. I won't lie and say we've always gotten along, we've had our share of rough days but I know that they are there for me when push comes to shove. However, when it comes to marriage, my prayer is that we all continue to grow in love. In marriage a man must leave and cleave and become one. I say man because the Bible emphasises men, maybe He knew that it wouldn't be easy for them, the Bible also says a woman's desire would be for her husband. When we get married, my father remains my father but I am submitted to my husband's authority, I become Mrs O. I pray that I not only write it but my actions shall show it as well. My mum had a terrible time with my father's family and I have prayed this will never be the case for me as this gave me a very poor image of marriage growing up. I don't like stress but I've trusted God that I'm just increasing my family, a new dad, mum, brother and cousins.

My mum is one of my best friends, Pastor O advised us in our counselling class never to discuss conflicts within our marriage to either set of parents, a mentor or pastor is preferable. This is because you are in love with your partner, they are in love with you their child, when you forgive your partner, things might still remain frosty between him and them so I know I will need to work on balancing that relationship out and not call mummy every time Mr O does this or that though if the truth be told I usually wonder whose mum she is, his or mine, I think she just tries to be fair! I expect my family to respect Mr O as the head of our home, as my husband and life partner, I expect the same from him to my family as the ones who nurtured and reared me to become the woman I am today. I expect to respect his parents and have his family respect me as well. Africans say you marry a family and not an individual, it is true in some respects but please keep them out of the bedroom! Lol! I mean keep the private things private, anything to do with family should be discussed by both of us and then implemented. I see the role of parents, siblings and extended family as they being there to give love, advice and respect.

One of Mr O's closest cousins rubs me off the wrong way, I think it's because we see life so differently but what we have in common is our love for Mr O, we may never be friends but I pray to God for the grace to accept her and love her all the same as I have been commanded to by Him. After the wedding, it's God, Mr O, family, career/ministry (in that order) and I expect it to be the same from his end. Parents advice gratefully needed and acknowledged but please do not be offended if we have a different opinion. No discussing issues with parents without other partner's knowledge, do to partner's family as you would like partner to do to your family. I pray and ask God for the grace for my new family to accept me but I'm not going to live my life either fighting them or killing myself to gain their favour. I'm just going to be the best me that God created.

So far so good, we haven't had any big issues on either side so far but then the families haven't really interacted that much. Mr O is closer to my family than I am to his but I'm just letting things flow naturally, I don't like doing things simply because it's expected of me but because it's right and I enjoy doing it. So I'll keep praying. I want to have a great relationship with my in-laws or in-loves as I prefer to call them, I don't want my children deprived of relationships with their cousins/aunts/uncle because of petty fights and quarrels. Father, help me.

So the role of our parents and family are to continue to give us the unconditional love that has nurtured us into the people we have become today. They are there to celebrate with us, cry with us, bless us, be blessed by us, being there through all the seasons of our lives.

Till later



Anonymous said...

excellent tips... this is shaping up to be an excellent resource for us who will walk this road in the near future..... keep the stuff coming..

Hadassah said...

@akabagucci: Thanks for your comment, i'll try and keep the posts coming