Thursday, February 01, 2007

Making Painful Decisions

One reader has written in with the following:

My husband and I have been married for nearly 5 years and in that time, we've had so many people telling us what to do, we don't even know what it's like to be a family.

We started off in financial struggles because of a layoff so soon after we were married. Because of our own struggles, family members have stepped in to help, but because of that help, we are not placed in the position of being reminded all the time of the help that was given.

It doesn't matter that much of what was given has been repaid - it's still a constant reminder that we owe them.

These same family members stress the blended family boundaries and cause tension within our household. I've tried to get my husband to do something about it - because my efforts have failed.

Shy of moving to outer Mongolia and without phones and internet, what can we do to create a home that's free of outside influences that place so much stress on this marriage that I'm not sure I even want to stay in it anymore? Depression is becoming the norm in my everyday life.

I don't feel that I'm in a position to provide the best advice, so I'm placing this letter on the Blended Family Blog in hopes that others with blended family experience can chime in with some support and advice.


Andrew said...

I've heard some people suggest placing a thousand miles and at least one major river between you and your extended family, at least until you have a chance to establish yourselves. This is the Mongolia approach, though, so...

Is the stress coming from his family or yours? If it's his, then you're right -- HE should step up and deal with it, AND when it comes to conflicts between your newly-formed family and his extended family, his loyalties should now lie with you.

I don't know if that helps, but I wish you the best of luck.

Andrew (To Love, Honor, and Dismay)

ginger said...

The extended family are on a 'need to know' basis.. it's time for the writer and her spouse to focus on their family unit - and most importantly, their marriage.

Everybody else needs to know nothing. Just my opinion.

The writer is welcomed to visit the forum. :)

Kim said...

Great advise from Ginger and Andrew. Both easier said than done however. In my experience you can be very polite and state your position and it could be twisted and turned into a nightmare anyway. If you take financial assistance and you are paying it back then you are fullfilling your only obligation to them. Boundaries have to be established and maintained no matter how difficult or how ugly it may get. As long as one keeps polite and respectful when maintaining boundaries there should be no guilt.
God says give with a joyful heart and expect nothing in return! The blessings of giving to others are rewarded by Him! and Marriage is a separation from family and becoming one with the spouse. Both husband and wife have to be focused on "their life together". Pleasing each other.....not the rest of the extended family! Good Luck, be strong and be bold!