It’s no secret that I don’t watch much television – as a mother of eight this seems understandable on a number of levels.
One show that occasionally gets my attention however is some reality tv nonsense called ‘Married At First Sight’ (MAFS). It’s my hubby’s favourite, so I often hear it in the background if it’s on and I love watching him watching the show- and laughing (at my husband).
This morning I caught a segment of some morning news program regarding MAFS. It was relating to a contestant by the name of Coco (I only remembered her name because it’s the same as one of my little one’s) and her ex-mother-in-law ordeal. The news presenters were having a dig at Coco’s horrid experience with her ex’s mother and it really irritated me!
I Get What Coco Is Going Through!
I hadn’t seen the episode in question, but they did show a snippet of Coco saying something along the lines of wishing her previous husband was capable of loving her as much as he loved his own mum. The presenters found this concept hilarious, but honestly, until you have found yourself in a position of having to face overbearing in-laws you just can’t grasp the uncertainty of the lifestyle you lead.
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Perhaps “love” isn’t the best word, because admittedly the bond between parent and child is vastly different to romantic relationships. However, if you replaced it with the word “respect” it levels out the notion far greater and perhaps makes it easier to understand without pushing people to be critical of the entire concept.
Coco clearly wasn’t able to tolerate the unjust nature of her ex husband’s ability to regulate his affection between the family that he came from and the family that he chose to create – and why should she?!
Why Shouldn’t She Be The Priority!
Is it honestly that socially unacceptable to confess that you want to be as much of a priority as what your spouses parent(s) is to them? Is this why in-law drama isn’t openly discussed unless it’s a bloke half-jokingly complaining about how draining his in-laws are? Is this topic reserved purely for the husbands because wives are just meant to grin and bare it a bit better?
Are we, as women, scared of admitting there is anything unreasonable about our in-laws? Or is it just common knowledge that a bloke’s parents are generally going to be excessively needy and so we say nothing at all because deep down inside we know that it’s something that everyone is going through equally. So that somehow makes it unworthy of mentioning or complaining about?
Do we not want to risk being caught out – having our in-laws find out that the things they do actually do get under our skin. So we keep it to ourselves in an attempt to appear to be living the perfect life even more so. Because we seem to have perfect relationships with everyone around us, including our in-laws.
In-Laws Can Destroy Marriages!
I don’t think it’s fair to question Coco’s desire to be loved at that time in her life – no matter how she came across. She stated what she needed and obviously those needs weren’t being met, which is why things fell apart.
It wouldn’t be the first or the last time that the presence of in-laws ended a marriage and although it isn’t as easy for some to empathise with as perhaps infidelity, I feel that it’s as important to recognise that they can be just as painful and almost as damaging at times. Regardless of the motives, you are facing the never-ending battle of another person fighting for your spouse’s unwavering attention! Whether it be for lust as in adultery or love from overbearing parents, it’s still unbelievably draining – but at least in the case of an affair you can sever ties and have the support and understanding of others.
I Should Have Married An Orphan!
I remember stating the words “should have married an orphan”! It sounds drastic, and somewhat lonely not having the extra relatives in one’s life to provide a sense of drama, but it does however serve the purpose of ensuring a more peaceful marriage.
Admittedly though, without my in-laws I would be lost for inspiration. They fire me up and are the catalyst for so many pieces of my writing. They show me what to avoid when it comes to smothering a child’s freedom and individuality and above all, they don’t allow my life to slip into a peaceful monotony – because God knows that I would die of boredom if I didn’t have them finding new ways of whisking their son away every single day…
I suppose the break they provide me from him isn’t so bad. Maybe I don’t understand it because I’ve never been tied to my mother’s apron strings. And I hope to goodness that none of my children are ever placed in a position where they are torn between the family that they’ve created and me – because I would feel as though I had failed in creating strong and independent individuals if I were able to influence, control and manipulate them in any way.
In-Law Or Out-Law?
Now to try and download the episode in question so that I can watch it and scream at the tv in support of Coco and outlaws everywhere… hmm “outlaw”, yes I do suppose my in-laws would envision me that way, constantly breaking their laws and trying to steal their darling son away from them.
It isn’t fun coming in second place to someone who you consider to be your first priority. But it’s worth it if they’re the type of person worth stealing. Besides, if my hubby valued his parent’s opinion that much, he would have been stuck in an arranged marriage himself right now!
We Need To Talk About It!
In-laws, similarly to menstrual cycles, should never be a taboo subject. We should be able to discuss these once unmentionable topics freely and openly without fear of repercussions. I mean they can both bring us pain and suffering but by discussing our circumstances with others we may be met with recommendations that bring us the greatest success and relief when coping with these inevitable challenges that a majority of women face!
Here’s hoping for a better in-law outcome for Coco! Or is it simply a matter of a hubby that has his priorities in order…
Have you learnt anything from watching MAFS? Do you related to any of the characters? Tell us in the comments below.