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“When a boy and a girl decide to get married, they don’t just marry each other. They marry one another’s family also”. The moment these words left my father in laws mouth he did not leave me speechless, he left me filled with remorse and panic.

What had I managed to get myself into. This was definitely not part of the deal when my husband and I were married. In fact I remember quite clearly our marriage vows:

[Groom’s name], do you take [Bride’s name] to be your wedded wife, to live together in marriage? Do you promise to love her, comfort her, honor and keep her for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, and forsaking all others, be faithful only to her, for as long as you both shall live?

Surely “forsaking all others” is not merely limited to adultery. Personally I feel it encompasses all those outside of the marriage, including family and friends as well. To me marriage is intended to unite two individuals shifting one another’s loyalties to their partners, rather than their parents.

When my father in law has a point to make there is absolutely no possibility of a civil conversation. He yells and speaks over you cutting you off any time you try to get your point across.

He made himself quite clear. He said that because of my husband’s culture that I have no choice but to accept his beliefs, regardless of what my cultural beliefs are.

I retreated to the kitchen. There was no point in trying to argue with a person who couldn’t care less about my perspective. Besides, there were four young children present, witnessing me being abused by this hysterical old man. Their young minds should not have to try make sense of what was going on.

It’s embarrassing to be abused in front of children. It’s harder still when those children are your own. No child ever wants to see the the woman who gave birth to them being hurt. And a child, no matter how young, can always understand when their mother is being tormented and harassed.

My husband followed me into the kitchen. I steadied myself on the kitchen bench top as though the words I was about to say to him were going to leave my mouth with such force that they would send me flying backwards.

“I want a divorce” left my lips with complete control. “If I am expected to include your parents in our marriage, then I need a divorce”.

He assured me that I do not have to obey his father’s demands. And promised that the situation was going to get better. I really wanted to believe that, even though I know it isn’t very likely.

I believe the problem is in each individuals concept of marriage. It doesn’t really matter what our ideal of marriage is, just as long as it matches with our partner’s ideal so that you both have a understanding and respect for each others expectations.

When I married my husband, “forsaking all others” included my parents. Of course I love and care for them deeply, however my loyalties shifted from them, to my husband. Which is something that my parents respect and support.

I never would have thought that I would be at war with my in laws over my husband’s loyalty.


Posted by someonesmother, 19th February 2014


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  • that is a hard choice to make but obviously this is stressing you out. hope it is much better now

    Reply

  • Oh my! Has your father in law always been this way?

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  • How did this not come up before you had four children? Not that I necessarily think you’re wrong, it just seems late for this to emerge.

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  • He sounds like a horrible man (father-in-law) and i hope your husband takes your side!

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  • ohhhh wow! I can only offer you love and support, I do trully hope things got better with the inlaws.

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  • im lucky 2 have good inlaws.

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  • So sorry about your situation :(

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  • I can totally relate, the only thing worse than horrible in-laws is your husband not being loyal to you and siding with them. you have my support and understanding.

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  • I married my husband, not his family and vice versa. Talk to yours, a marriage needs good communication (amongst a lot of things), to work. I really hope you can work it out

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  • I have had issues with my mother in law ever since the day we met. It took me a long time to realise that the only way to deal with it was to ignore her completely. She has tried so many ways to involve herself in our marriage and it has been a struggle to keep her out.. thankfully she is no longer a part of our lives and we are keeping our children away from her and her toxic ways. Good luck., and try to remember that you did only marry your husband. The rest of the family have no say in what you do. Let it fall off you and keep your focus on you and your husband. it worked for me.

    Reply

  • I think it’s a little bit sad that you’ve allowed your father in law to bother you so much that you would hurt your husbands feelings by asking for a divorce. Surely you could talk about it and come up with a solution that sees you being united in your opinions.

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  • In my opinion, a marriage is between two people. Both my partner and myself are strong family people, but we understand that we are first and foremost. We have been recently challenged with my mum (see my story below). The best thing I did was have a long talk with my husband. We both opened up honestly and it is a lot better.
    Hope you and your husband can sort it out. Don’t ever let anyone else tell you how your marriage should work!

    Reply

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