Wife Lesson #10: Boundaries and family

Image courtesy of bravo.com


There are a few things I wish people had warned me about when I was newly engaged. You know things that are kind of important in terms to a person’s well being such as:

1.     A messy boyfriend begets a messy fiancé who in turn begets a messy husband. It doesn’t magically change because you have a band on your finger. Just an FYI.

2.     Holidays are exhausting. Either you have to house hop all in one day or alternate holidays. Either way be prepared that someone’s feelings will be hurt and there is nothing you can do about it except smile and shove more Mac-n-cheese in your mouth.

3.     That whole not going to sleep angry theory is cute. Is it easy to do? Nah. Honestly, when you are really pissed that whole staying up to fight logic may just blow up in your face.

Sunday on Real Housewives of Atlanta I caught the face-off with Cynthia and Peter vs. Cynthia’s sister, and ultimately between Cynthia and Peter.

Ish hit the fan when Cynthia’s sister ( I forget her name) waltzed in and announced she was moving in with them for two months. Yes, you read that right. She announced; she did not ask nor was she invited.

Even the worst clairvoyant could have predicted the fight that broke out between Cynthia and her husband because only family can cause tensions to rise that high and that fast.

Just that scene had me all in my feelings because I can definitely relate to how family can make any relationship very messy.

There is something to be said about the blind loyalty that is associated with family. Slap a title (cousin, sister, mother) and things become immediately sticky. Things you would cuss a stranger for are suddenly in a grey area when it is attached to a family member because you grew up with them or they breastfed you, and etc.

And they know this. Just think about any issue you had with a family member and recall how quickly they labeled their relationship to you, as if that made it ok.

Oh, you cheated with my man? Oh girl, that’s my third cousin removed, so I guess it’s ok.

When hubby and I got married, essentially we became our little family unit complete with our own way of doing things. Three years in, we have even developed our own traditions, like Fat Fridays, where we order up greasy favorites and watch movies.

Nothing threatens a happy  family unit like…well…family. They barge in; make critical comments about your relationship, ask you for shit that is disrespectful to your partner, and cause tension.

I hate feeling at odds with my husband because of family. I hate when I stay up nights trying to make everyone happy and I’m the one miserable. And the worst part is, it never really stops until you say no.

I have trouble saying “no” to people in general, but to family, its damn near impossible.

The thing is I always felt like I was  forced to choose between my husband and family or vice versa. Like a vote for one was a vote against another.

But I took vows with him, pretty serious ones that we made up ourselves and its important that we cherish our relationship and protect it from those who are only looking out for themselves.

Because wrong is wrong, whether it is a stranger or someone you grew up with.

So I am learning to set limits on how far I will let family push me. Although saying “no” to people is hard, I hope in my heart of hearts that family will get over it because they understand how important my marriage is as well.

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2 Responses to Wife Lesson #10: Boundaries and family

  1. Lashuntrice says:

    *the single woman takes notes*

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