Future Mother in law?


#1

Hi guys..

I really do not know what to do, the girl I hope to marry one day has a pretty crazy mother...

All she does is fight, gossip, yell, and is very greedy. She buys all of the most expensive designer clothes, handbags(which is not a bad thing) but I have much reason to believe she does it to show off, and part of me tells me that is one of the major reasons for going to the mass(to show off her stuff)

Anyways, she is very selfish, and always threatens her daughter(my girlfriend) that I am a bad guy because of the littlest things. For example, I have a midterm coming up this week, and she wanted me to go with them to the ice skating rink. I said i could not, she continually insisted but I said I CAN'T! So after that, she told her daughter, "Oh look at him, he's not even married to you and he's acting like this now." She ALWAYS wants to be in control and is by far one of the most selfish women I have ever met. If we do not obey her every command, she Literally, goes crazy.

Now, this really effects her daughter, because she really hates her mom for these things. It builds up so much anger since I'm such a GOOD guy yet her mom is such a bad person and doesn't see that. Her mom wants her to marry somebody who is very rich, so that she can "be happy"

As you can tell, It angers so much writing this, Even I have built up such an anger towards her, since she is SO mean and cold hearted... I don't know what to do. I love her daughter. Her daughter loves me. We are perfectly happy together when her mom is not around.

I keep telling myself, I just have to pray for her, but I find it so hard because she continually bashes me when I don't obey her. It really effects my girlfriend too, she constantly cries and is saddened by this woman.

Any advice??


#2

Okay, so you can’t stand this woman… imagine how it must be to be her daughter and have to live with her…

You mentioned a midterm, so I assume you are still in school. That tells me you are young, which of course is a good thing. You have lots of time.

I would suggest you stick with your girlfriend for now and figure out how you both will manage her mom. This woman sounds like a workout… but is your gf able to break away from her? That is the big question. If not, you will be dealing with this mom forever. And you need to decide, is that what you want? Is that what your gf wants?

I think you should spend more time with your gf and see where it goes. You will eventually know. And I wish you all the best.


#3

My first reaction is to tell you to RUN as fast as you can. This situation will not improve, in fact it will get worse. . No one deserves to be someone else's punching bag. Life and marriage is hard enough without signing up for this too. You can't try to talk your girlfriend into cutting off her relationship with her mother either.(not that you would). If you are to have a life with this woman, it will include her mother on some level. If you are this angry now, think about what your future holds.


#4

Maybe God is telling you that this relationship is not good for you. This mother in law will play a huge role in your life. If she is like this now, imagine how demanding she will be when it comes to her grandkids. You will never hear the end of it if you ever make a mistake when raising your kids. Her mother will never change. Either you just accept that you will have to deal with this for your whole marriage or you can tell your future wife to break contact with her mother or you can take this as a sign of things to come and leave. It is your choice. Make a choice and stick with it. If you are having trouble dealing with it now, just wait until marriage. Mother in laws that are difficult before marriage are even worse after. It is very difficult to get family members to change.

Dont let the mother in law run your life. If the girl loves you, she will understand how you feel and know what you need to get done for your life.


#5

[quote="iloveyouJesus3, post:1, topic:219580"]
Hi guys..

I really do not know what to do, the girl I hope to marry one day has a pretty crazy mother...

All she does is fight, gossip, yell, and is very greedy. She buys all of the most expensive designer clothes, handbags(which is not a bad thing) but I have much reason to believe she does it to show off, and part of me tells me that is one of the major reasons for going to the mass(to show off her stuff)

Anyways, she is very selfish, and always threatens her daughter(my girlfriend) that I am a bad guy because of the littlest things. For example, I have a midterm coming up this week, and she wanted me to go with them to the ice skating rink. I said i could not, she continually insisted but I said I CAN'T! So after that, she told her daughter, "Oh look at him, he's not even married to you and he's acting like this now." She ALWAYS wants to be in control and is by far one of the most selfish women I have ever met. If we do not obey her every command, she Literally, goes crazy.

Now, this really effects her daughter, because she really hates her mom for these things. It builds up so much anger since I'm such a GOOD guy yet her mom is such a bad person and doesn't see that. Her mom wants her to marry somebody who is very rich, so that she can "be happy"

As you can tell, It angers so much writing this, Even I have built up such an anger towards her, since she is SO mean and cold hearted... I don't know what to do. I love her daughter. Her daughter loves me. We are perfectly happy together when her mom is not around.

I keep telling myself, I just have to pray for her, but I find it so hard because she continually bashes me when I don't obey her. It really effects my girlfriend too, she constantly cries and is saddened by this woman.

Any advice??

[/quote]

She sounds like my biological grandmother. As such, my parents have had to deal with this. We live several States away from her and have just ignored her requests and guilt trips to move near her. Growing up, though, we did take trips to visit her. Every trip was very difficult on the entire family though. I've heard her tell my mom (in my Dad's presense) that she was niave to believe that Dad has never cheated on her because every man does that. Usually during our visits, we just are silent and as charitable as possible. She is my mom's mother, after all. But limiting the time of our visits has always been very important because it becomes very difficult not to bite her head off.

I would also advise that if you visit with children to keep an eye on your children and to be very protective of how she might react to childhood antics, especially if there is any history of abuse in your girlfriend's past. It can be a balancing act between keeping your potential mother in law calm and protecting your children from verbal attacks or worse. I think my parents did a fairly good job, but there are some events that occured that seriously traumatized me.

Its also important to recognize how any possible abuse effects your girlfriend if any did occur. My mom has lived her whole life feeling constantly rejected by her biological mother, but then having love from my mother constantly demanded. My mom was raised on and off by her aunt during the periods of time in her childhood where her mom no longer wanted her. However, her biological mother would freak out if my mom bonded too much with her aunt. As such, my mom has always felt like she's been denied having a real mother. This has affected how my mom went about raising my siblings and I.

Overall regardless of how bad the situation is, honoring our parents and grandparents does not necessarily mean being fond of them or spending tons of time together. Some people just have major problems and don't know how to treat people well. Its totally ok to recognize that you need to keep space between you and that person for your own sanity. Pray for them and visit them but keep the boundary clear. Don't let them guilt you into things you can't handle or to tolerate abuse from them in the name of making them feel loved.


#6

until your girlfriend has established a significant history of adult life without her mother's intervention/ intrusion/ chaos she is NOT ready to be married.

she may never be.

you asked, so i'll tell ya: wait on this one.


#7

[quote="Chuck65, post:3, topic:219580"]
If you are to have a life with this woman, it will include her mother on some level. If you are this angry now, think about what your future holds .

[/quote]

Not necessarly. I have nothing to do with my inlaws (dh's parents are divorced) and I have been married 8 years. I only started to talk to my MIL a few times after ds was born to try to patch things and then it went back to going down hill. Now ds is almost 2 and I haven't talked to her since ds was about 8 weeks old. Prior to that, I stopped talking to her right after dh and I got married. I don't want to get into the reasons why his famiy was cut out. And dh and I are very happy. I guess it depends on the case though.


#8

Wow, I am very startled at some of the responses... For everyone who said, "Cut off the relationship, or leave the girl" are you guys serious? That is very sad that you guys would say such a thing, basically, that because of her mom, I should not marry her? I understand the concern, but have you no understanding of what love really is?

My first reaction is to tell you to RUN as fast as you can. This situation will not improve, in fact it will get worse. . No one deserves to be someone else's punching bag. Life and marriage is hard enough without signing up for this too.

So break up with her because of her mom? If it's okay for me to do that, then NO man can marry this poor girl(my girlfriend) as long as her mom is the crazy woman she is right? No. that is not what love is about? It's about sacrifice and going through suffering but ALWAYS making it through....together..not separated.

If the girl loves you, she will understand how you feel and know what you need to get done for your life.

So if she loves me, she will let me break up with her? Nope. If she loved me, she would want me to stay... "what I need to get done for my life" that's pretty selfish, I can care less about my life, I would lay my life down for my potential future wife..

Now for everyone who said something like "spend time with you gf, you don't need to spend much time with her anyway"... Thank You..

I know in the future, if she does not become nicer, we will definitely keep less contact with her, the only reason its directly effecting us now is because she lives with her mother..

anyways, Sorry If i sounded mean, I just found some of those responses pretty astonishing(not in a good way)

Thanks guys!


#9

Basically, you and gf need to have a talk. If she is going to allow mom in your bed, your life will be miserable.

If she can keep mom out of your bed, you will likely be fine. Adults only take as much abuse as they are willing to take.

I have an MIL that wrote a list of priorities for my husband when we were young and still in highschool. On a list of about 15 items, (and I realize as a teenage girlfriend I would absolutely rank below family), I was # 15, AFTER picking up dog poop in the yard. YES THAT WAS ON THE LIST… This list was posted in their house for me to see.

Now, this was NOT a list of things he needed to do in order to go out with friends and such. His male friends ranked higher on the list. Basically, I was to be considered ONLY after dog poop!

Needless to say, we’ve had some issues. DH failed only ONCE at not defending me from his parents personal attacks. I say once, because I stopped the attacks with some rather vicious words (oh, my, my… DIL has a spine!). DH was informed that if he would like the peace to reign, He would need to step up and create it. And that he did… I do not start fights. But I will finish them. There is no room in my life for terrible In-law behavior. It’s not been easy. But his parents are well aware their behavior is expected to be good, or they can go home. It all works out.

We have been together over 20 years, and married almost 15. I pray before they arrive that we will have a great visit. We usually do. Again, I don’t start fights. And they know they aren’t welcome if they do. They are smart people;)

Now, I will tell you. My dad did a lousy job reigning in his mother. She is a huge contributor to ALL the drama and strife in our family. My parents marriage suffered greatly. And I think that’s why people tell you to run. It can make not only you miserable but your children as well. And well, it’s really not the mother you are running from. But a woman that does not know how to get out from under her. An example would have been for your gf to inform her mother that she values the education that you’re getting because it lends to you being a good provider. And that only a man that doesn’t project to the future in his decisions would have skipped out on necessary studying for a day of fun. That would be a man that she’s not interested in. Her inability may be a warning sign of what she may never be able to do when she’s married. No one knows the amount of ugly you may endure. It may be a little bit that you can brush off. Or you may be off to confession on a regular basis sorry for wishing for her(the mother) an early demise…


#10

YOU ASKED FOR ADVICE!!! I told you you can choose to ride it out or you can end it. What more do you want from us? If you know what you are going to do, why ask for advice? I am not here to hold your hand through this. YOU asked for advice on what to do about a girl. Why do you want advice if you already know what you want to do?

There is nothing anyone can do to help you with your mother-in-law problem. Like I said, you can ride it out and learn to live with the mother-in-law, have the girl break contact with her mother, or leave the girl. You dont have much hope to change the mother in law.

Secondly, you took my words out of context. When I said, "If the girl loves you, she will understand how you feel and know what you need to get done for your life." I meant that you shouldnt worry about what her mother thinks or your girl thinks when you have an exam to study for. It shouldnt even be an issue. You should be strong and quickly tell them no. If they continue to give you *, turn your phone off and study! Your studies are way more important than appeasing her mother. How will you support a family without education? You girl will understand why you couldnt go out with her mother. I wouldnt give a * what her mother thought. Its not her life thats on the line so why should she care? That is what I meant and DONT take twist my words please!

Thirdly, you can love someone and NOT marry them. If she cant separate herself from her mother then she frankly isnt ready for marriage. Most people at your guys age, 16-22, arent ready for marriage. You are in love with this girl, which is commendable. Yet she allows her mother to cause you problems. If your girl really loves you, she will stop her mother from coming between you guys.

All YOU can do is get your girl to break away from her mother. The mother WONT change. When you marry a girl, you marry her whole family too. Trust me, family members do not change. If you bank on her changing, you will be complaining your whole life.

If your girl cant handle her own mother, how will she handle her own kids?


#11

I am very sorry for misinterpreting what you said..

My intent of this post was to get people who have been through this tell me how things went with them.

Also, to everyone, I am very sorry for failing to mention that she DOES defend me and back me up. She gets in terrible fights with her mom because of me, which Isn't a good thing, but because of how unreasonable her mom is, its only necessary.

I'm very sorry for not mentioning that, because most of the comments are aimed at a woman who is not defending me, but really she does.

She can't wait to leave her mom and for us to get married. Also, I truly do believe that it is because of her mom, that my girlfriend is going to be such a great mom. We just spoke about this today, that she is the carer of her 3 younger brothers, and people sometimes think that she is there mom. She see's exactly what her mom does horribly wrong, and does the exact opposite.

I'm sorry guys, I should have explained things more clearer. I just wanted to get some support from others who might be in a similar situation, and I thank all of you who have opened up and spoken about there IL's. Thank You guys.

Again, I am sorry for misinterpreting your words, and I truly do understand where you were coming from considering I did not explain my story completely... Sorrrryyy


#12

Ahhh... don't worry. There's almost ALWAYS more to the story. We can only respond to what you actually write. Although, it might be more fun to randomly respond to completely different stuff. But when you clear things up... then we can adjust our approach with our response....

Easy Peasy!

I think I would want to make sure that she's solid with you. Not looking for an out. But otherwise, I wouldn't really worry about the MIL... she'll be a pill that you have to occasionaly swallow... The end.


#13

iloveyoujesus3, seriously, its not your fault. You said absolutely nothing about how your girlfriend was handling the situation. All you said was how her mother was treating you. The people who responded by stating that you should break up with her or claiming that she isn't ready for marriage were making hugely gross assumptions (and judgments) about your girlfriend. A more appropriate response would be to ask you first how your girlfriend is handling the situation and how this was effecting your relationship.

It was rather obvious that you were looking for advice on how to deal with a mother in law like that in a marriage. You did not at all give me the impression that you were asking people for advise on how to change her. As such, those who have difficult mother in laws or know people with difficult mother in laws should have explained to you how they handled it, what problems arose in the relationship due to it and perhaps what strengths your relationship needs to deal with a situation like this. For instance, they could have said "Its very important that this situation with the mother in law doesn't become a battle between you and this girl if you do marry. If she is very defensive and clingy to her mother and insists that you tolerate more than you can handle, than you may want to reconsider this relationship. Husband and wife need to act together as one unite. Its important when discerning marriage to identify any major dividing points." etc. That leaves the judgement of the situation and your girlfriend up to you who actually knows her and not a bunch of online strangers who've read a few paragraphs about her mother.

Anyway, God bless you as you continue the process of discernment.


#14

You have no idea what you’re talking about. Every wedding, every funeral, every major holiday, this woman you have described to us will be in your life. When she is old and cannot take care of herself, can she hope that her daughter will take her in? With you as head of the household? Fat chance. Not unless she changes her expectations, because you refuse to change yours. That is a recipe for a living hell.

The thing is, you’re not laying down your life for your future wife. You are the one who has not yet learned what love really is. You are the one who has decided her mom goes to Mass in order to show off. This is love? No. You “love” the one whom you enjoy, and hate the one whom you do not enjoy. How do I put this? “Even the pagans do as much.”

Leave the girl because her mother is hateful? I’m not saying that. Break up with this girl if you cannot find it in your heart to love her mother, in spite of her faults. You marry the whole family. Either resolve to love the whole family, to bear the faults of the whole family for the sake of your wife, or else DO NOT MARRY HER. Let her find someone who can.

So yes, in short: Enlarge your heart, or let go of the girl. Those are your choices. Be very very honest about how big your heart is, before you saddle this young woman with the duo of her mother and you.


#15

What do you mean by “leave her mom”? Are you the escape hatch for her?

As said above she needs to resolve her relationship issues with her mother before dragging you into it with her. The reason so many people are telling you to “run away” is that this issue is never resolved until the child (your girlfriend) becomes an adult and separates herself from her mother. You give the instance about the ice-skating rink, my question is, why is she going ice skating with her mother? Why is she allowing her to have that much input? Putting a ring on her finger doesn’t put a plug in her mom’s mouth.


#16

[quote="EasterJoy, post:14, topic:219580"]

The thing is, you're not laying down your life for your future wife. You are the one who has not yet learned what love really is. You are the one who has decided her mom goes to Mass in order to show off. This is love? No. You "love" the one whom you enjoy, and hate the one whom you do not enjoy. How do I put this? "Even the pagans do as much."

[/quote]

You really have no idea what you are saying. If you were in my shoes, you would know what I'm talking about.

Either resolve to love the whole family, to bear the faults of the whole family for the sake of your wife, or else DO NOT MARRY HER. Let her find someone who can.

Do you think I do not love the whole family? Do you think I am the cause of the craziness of her mother? I love her family, including her mother, more than she does herself, and I can firmly say that, I'm the one who always USED TO try to patch up the problems and help her out, but its gotten to the point where her mom is just being very abusive. Are you to tell me, that if we cannot handle her mother than we should break up and that "someone who can" should marry her. You don't know what you are talking about.

' Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword.
35 "For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law';
36 "and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.'

If the parents are not going to be holy people(or at least descent) then yes, we have all the right in the world to cut close ties with them.

I am getting married to my wife, not her whole family. I am totally willing to love there family, but the fact of the matter is, they are a pretty damaged family, when every fight is about money, gossip, anger and greed, it will be very hard for us to become saints if we surround ourselves with these people. I am willing to help the MIL out(As i have tried), YES, but who says the MIL is willing to get help?

She is not, and All i could really say is "Only if you knew her"


#17

I'm aware of those portions of Scripture. I'm also aware of what it takes to remain married for a lifetime. Besides, that Scripture passage you quoted does not mean we are to cut ourselves off from those who are loathsome to us, only a warning that our faith will make us loathsome to some, even our families. (See below.)

You do marry the whole family. You can fly thousands of miles away, but your in-laws are still your in-laws, your wife's parents. I do not know a married couple who does not say the same, even those who have parents so pathologic that no safe contact is possible.

Families with the problems you describe are not so rare as you think. MIL is probably not going to "get help." Chances are, she is going to be her irrasible self for as long as she lives. You're just going to have to cope with that. You can put some distance in, but are you saying you and your wife are not going to go to family weddings and funerals, are not going to have anything to do with her relatives, because you're too thin-skinned to deal with her mother's fully-predictable tantrums? How will you "weep with those who weep and rejoice with those who rejoice" if you do that? What if God put you in a room with her for eternity....could you love her? If you cannot love your enemies, how can you become a saint?

*The saints are what they are, not because their sanctity makes them admirable to others,
but because the gift of sainthood makes it possible for them to admire everybody else.
It gives them a clarity of compassion that can find good in the most terrible criminals.
It delivers them from the burden of judging others, condemning other men.
It teaches them to bring the good out of others by compassion, mercy, and pardon.

We become saints not by the conviction that we are better than sinners,
but by the realization that we are one of them,
and that all together we need the mercy of God!

Thomas Merton, New Seeds of Contemplation*

You don't get to be a saint by saying, Thank you, Lord, that I am not like other men, not like this mother-in-law of mine, greedy, loud, quarrelsome, self-centered....
You get there by saying, "Lord, if you can put up with me, I can surely be patient with her, for you love her and thirst for her as you do me, and your patience with me has been without measure..." If you're aiming for canonization, that is the way the saints think.

"*But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic. Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.

Do to others as you would have them do to you. For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same. If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount. But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful.

Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven. Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you*." Luke 6:27-38

"Bless those who persecute (you), bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation. Do not repay anyone evil for evil; be concerned for what is noble in the sight of all. *If possible, on your part, live at peace with all.** Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord." Rather, "if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head. Do not be conquered by evil but conquer evil with good*." Romans 12:14

Of course you can put some space between yourself and your enemies, those who want to do you harm. Christianity does not demand masochism. Having said that, those of us who have been around the barn a few times know what you're getting yourself into. Do not imagine that you can walk away and just act like MIL does not exist. It does not work that way. You asked what we know: We know this. Accept it.


#18

So....this is what I mean: "Love is patient, love is kind....it does not brood over injury...It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things."

It is totally understandable that you are still scandalized by your future MIL's behavior! Nevertheless, if you are going to really love this family, you have to accept where they are and start in loving them right there. You're going to have to live the Gospel in that atmosphere. I never said you cannot do it. I'm saying that is what you have to do.

"*If any one comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. Which of you wishing to construct a tower does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if there is enough for its completion? Otherwise, after laying the foundation and finding himself unable to finish the work the onlookers should laugh at him and say, 'This one began to build but did not have the resources to finish.'

Or what king marching into battle would not first sit down and decide whether with ten thousand troops he can successfully oppose another king advancing upon him with twenty thousand troops? But if not, while he is still far away, he will send a delegation to ask for peace terms. In the same way, everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple*." Luke 14:26-33

If you marry your girlfriend, let go of your idea of what her mother ought to be. Instead, consider what she is, and decide if you have the resources to do the job of being a good son-in-law to her, to the degree that she allows it. If she needs your help, will you leave her in the cold because you do not like her? Do not start what you will not be willing to finish. Resolve to be as close to your wife's family as your wife wants to be. Be there to support her, even be willing to be the one who deals with her mother, when she just can't do it. I think you can do this, but you really have to accept what you're taking on. Just don't try to fool yourself.

If it is sainthood you are looking for, martyrdom by mother-in-law has proved the crucible for many that did the trick. It could be yours, if you are willing to accept it. If you learn to live with anyone who really is like what you describe, you'll probably not get old before you hear the words, "I don't know how you cope with her so well; as far as I'm concerned, you're a saint." You won't be the first.

........

PS Returning calm graciousness for the vitriol that comes from a person like that has an almost comical effect on them. They really don't know what to do with it. I think St. Paul's line about "heaping burning coals upon their heads" is something of an inside joke, I really do. :rolleyes: :D If you wage a campaign of love against your future MIL, you may find the result entertaining, if not gratifying. It is a practical joke fit for a saint! ;)


#19

She can’t wait to leave her mom and for us to get married. Also, I truly do believe that it is because of her mom, that my girlfriend is going to be such a great mom. We just spoke about this today, that she is the carer of her 3 younger brothers, and people sometimes think that she is there mom. She see’s exactly what her mom does horribly wrong, and does the exact opposite.

there are huge challenges here. your girlfriend should be wanting to detach from her mother, instead her commitment to her siblings is intense. and if this is true, the mother is likely to be VERY threatened that you should distract her daughter from her unjustly adopted duties.

because she is responsible for her younger siblings, you will be integrally involved in that, too. she’s good and cares for them, she will have an impossible time “abandoning” them.

here’s what true, Iluv: an intense acrimonious, chaotic relationship is STILL an intense relationship.

because of her brothers, your girlfriend will probably be in an intense, acrimonious, chaotic relationship with her mother for a LONG time. You’ll have front row seats ALL the time and play a supporting role MUCH of the time.

you just NEED to know that, face that, accept that. you NEED to not fool yourself that this will disappear. it WON’T.


#20

You have continued to be open to her, though, and if DH wanted to try a reconciliation again, it sounds as if you would be willing to open yourself to the pain that this could bring. This is what I mean by counting the cost before you dive in. It is not that you would never cut yourself off, but that you are open to do the work to live in peace, when that is possible. That can include a lot of work and a lot of grief. When the family is cut off, it isn’t without its emotional cost, either, even when it is clearly the best course, and they are never entirely cut off. When one of your DH’s parents dies, you will be there for DH, supporting him for the whole drama, whether it is comic or tragic (and in real families, it is usually both). That is what I mean.

There is a saying among family therapists: The definition of a dysfunctional family is this: A dysfunctional family is any family with more than one person in it. So when we marry, it only comes down to judging prudently whether our own dysfunctions can be married to the other family’s dysfunctions with a more-or-less peaceable result. You can’t marry into a family without any dysfunction, because there is no such thing. There are only families that carry their dysfunctions with a lot of grace.


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