I take my vows of being married quite seriously – I mean I don’t go looking for a new husband every time my hubby annoys me. I’m loyal like that… besides I’ve decided that all blokes are probably the same and perhaps I might even like my husband slightly.

My brother was at a wedding and whilst there he was texting me photos and videos – somewhat rude and antisocial during a celebration I know, but he knows how much I love weddings and he wanted me to see it in the moment- and I LOVED it!

The Big Deal About Marriage Vows

Marriage vows are there for a reason. I mean it makes up the contract and they often sound so good that they make you weep at the altar. But honestly, if I were to go through the same ceremony as the bride did at the wedding my brother was at, I’d be crying for all the wrong reasons!

My brother sent me a photo of a card explaining what was happening during the wedding and what caught my eye was the ‘seven wedding vows’, one of which being ‘to care of children and parents’. Sounds lovely right? Except it gets a bit dicey when it’s followed by a ‘bride’s farewell’. The card said that this was symbolic of ‘the bride’s family giving a final farewell to their daughter’.

To me, this directly contradicts one of the seven vows- I mean how is she supposed to take care of her parents if she’s separated from them!

A Vow That Should NOT Be Taken!

If I were at the wedding I probably would have torn up the card I was just that angry! Because I can see precisely what that card is suggesting, I’ve lived it- even though I never officially signed up to it!

Here’s what those vows mean precisely-

“You, the wife, will look after the children, whilst also doing everything else required of you. Work, study, cook, clean, maintain the garden and keep life in the balance in general. And your husband will be at his parent’s beck and call.”

But they can’t be as specific as that during the ceremony because who in their right mind would want to sign up to those marriage vows?

In fact which parent would want their child to get involved with something like that? No wonder so many families call it quits come the marriage stage of their children’s relationship.

I Don’t Want This For My Kids

I personally don’t want that for my children. I don’t want my child’s husband to go straight to his parent’s house for dinner after work most days whilst she has to wrangle the kids all by herself at home and have her dinner alone. No, I most certainly do not! Especially when his parents don’t even know what it’s like to care for his kids alone for a single day! And I can say this because I know precisely how it feels.

Yes of course it is wonderful for a child to do what they can for their parents. After all, without them, we wouldn’t be here. But there’s a very fine line between respecting one’s parents and being responsible for one’s own family!

And it most certainly should not all be left up to the wife to hold together- even though we are absolutely marvellous at multitasking!

You’re Marrying The Whole Family

It wasn’t until well after I was married that my father-in-law informed me that when I married his son, I married his whole family. That sort of thing should be made known prior to marriage… like some sort of giant WARNING label!

At the end of the day, I am confident that the outcome of these traditional vows also depend on what kind of person each individual is.

You could be lucky and sign up for this contact and end up with people who don’t take advantage of the situation. Alternatively, you could be in a position where you see your partner’s phone ring and you just shake your head in exasperation. Parents sometimes use guilt to get precisely the outcome that they want.

Tradition is beautiful, there are so many glorious things about cultural heritage. At the same time, the environment that we uphold these beliefs has changed drastically.

I Didn’t Marry Your Parents

Unlike our grandparents generation, especially those fortunate enough to have domestic help, there just isn’t the physical manpower to help maintain the home and family so that one of the parents can dedicate themselves to all of their parent’s needs.

Yes sure we have the benefit of appliances that wash our dishes, clothes and even vacuum our homes robotically – but somehow it still feels like our generation has more to get through in a day. It’s not a bad thing, but sometimes it does mean all hands need to be on deck.

If a wife is left alone to row her family’s boat whilst her husband is off maintaining his parent’s boat constantly – what precisely is the significance of their union…

What is your partner’s relationship like with your in-laws? Do you feel like you’re married to them as well as your partner? Tell us in the comments below.

  • My mother in law used to make comments about me under her breath. Loud enough for me to hear but not my husband. Now she resides in a nursing home with dementia so the remarks have ceased


  • my in-laws have retreated over the years, we do not have much to do with them outside of our day care arrangements while I work.. At first it was pretty intrusive, but we are the closest to them.


  • Hopefully, you have an idea of what the relationship is like before you marry.


  • In laws are overseas so I am always a visitor and get the extra nice treatment so lucky


  • My Mother-in-Law never expected anything from us and over time we did get along. My troubles with her were before we got married. Once we got married and she saw how happy we were and became my second Mum. She was very caring and would help us out with advice but only if we asked her first. She has been a wonderful support and messages me every day to make sure I’m coping since my husband passed away. I’m not sure how I would have coped if my husband had dropped everything to be with his parents.

    • Aw that is beautiful, I’m glad she has been of such support to you !


  • Yes i know this situation.It is really hard specially all of them in one house.


  • People don’t know boundaries days. Your children and their family are not your goods and chattel. The idea is to raise your kids and then set them free, not bind them to your elderly care. Our parents expect us to look after them, while we listen to them bitch about looking after their parents, its just t h e self-absorbed attitude of Baby Boomer generation.


  • So my hubby and I are now estranged from his parents. With an alcohol-fuelled abusive father and a Mother who over time became abusive to us in a different way, we had to keep our son safe. And my hubby was like a son to my Mum who recently turned on him due to my narcissistic sister. So we really hit the jackpot. We’re now away from all of them and have never been happier.


  • It’s hard to go through, but it is a fact of life when one is married. Just take a good look at the family as well as your intended. People don’t change unfortunately.


  • Very interesting read….my husband is very close to his parents in fact we live next to them and beside his brother, that is how close they are. He sees his parents everyday, but I don’t. I’m so used to it as I’ve been with him for over 20 years and feel his parents are my second parents.


  • I’m not married but have been with my partner for over 20 years if my partners dad said that to me I would tell him where he can stick that and if I had the vows hell no would o be doing any of that


  • So relatable this article. I love being independent and dont like feeling like I’m forced in a family situation


  • Marriage is a blending of families so you do kind of marry the family as well.


  • Yes, I’ve been through this too.


  • All our relatives are in the UK so we are obviously not ‘on top of one another’. We all get on really well though so there are no issues at all!


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