RelationSHIPS, if they are to be successful, require that we get along with each other’s families.   A harmonious union between both families is the outcome that every couple desires and hopes for.  After all, our families are who we turn to for encouragement and support.  But what happens when the families don’t mesh?  Some couples can’t survive it and end the relationSHIP.  Some couples alienate themselves and create a sense of family within their relationSHIP.  While others commit to making it work by fostering an environment that promotes open communication and harmony.  Last night, I watched Family or Fiancé? on the OWN channel and questioned what I would do if I were in their predicament. What would you do?

Here’s their story:  A couple had been dating for 2 years and had a child.  They lived together and had recently got engaged.  The fiancé, we will call him Mike, was very close with his mother and stated that she was his first best friend.  His father died when he was 8 years old, and his life had revolved around his mother ever since. The fiancée, we will call her Marla, when they first started dating and the mom got along well.  They talked and really became fond of each other.  But, after the baby was born, that all changed.  Their relationSHIP became strained because Marla wanted Mike to stop paying his mother’s rent every month so that they could work on building their finances together to build and grow their family.  She even suggested that they buy a house big enough for them to live together as a family, but mom refused and threaten to move out of state.  Mike’s mother was able to pay her own expenses but for years, allowed him to do so.  So, what happened?   Did she choose Family or Fiancé?  Did Mike stop paying his mother’s rent?  Did they break-up?  Or did they come together as one big happy family?  

Choosing between your Family or Fiancé can be a difficult and sensitive decision.  It’s a decision that requires some serious thought and an array of factors must be considered.  As for me, I agree with Marla, he needs to stop paying for his mother’s rent. The money that he is spending should be used to lay a solid foundation for their daughter and their family. In the end, this couple found a way to merge the families.  The therapist had a conversation with Mark and his mother, and they both realized that they had created an unhealthy relationSHIP.   Marla and his mother talked, and the mother told her that she wanted her to be like a daughter to her.  They hugged and cried and made the commitment to continue to work as a family. I was happy for them.  Even though I’m not married, for some reason, I’ve always felt I wouldn’t get along with his mother.  That sounds crazy but I know I’m not the push around type.  If and WHEN I do get married, I hope I am wrong because if the choice was Family or Fiancé, for me it’s family

SHIP TALK: How would you feel if you discovered that your mate was paying rent for their mother?

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