Save your marriage by working on the deal-breakers

Posted in Marriage.

I really hope for your sake that the in-laws don’t too closely resemble Jack Byrnes from ‘Meet the parents’. Fortunately for us, Jack is a fictional character and few parents are as strict and suspicious. However, there are exceptions. It can certainly be difficult to maintain a relationship if you find yourself in this situation. This is especially true if it is your wife, or fiancée’s family that you have failed to impress.

I would first recommend establishing what it is you have or haven’t done which has made your in-laws feel this way. It may just be a few relatively simple issues that you need to get straightened out with them.

This being the case, I would visit the parents when they are available and say something on the lines of ‘I’m aware that we could have gotten off to a better start, and I feel sorry that we didn’t. But now, your daughter’s happiness is important to me above all else, so I would love to work at getting on the same page. I have no doubt that there is a lot I can learn from the both you about her, and I felt it important to communicate that to you.’

Hopefully you get the idea. Following this, listen and take on board what they have to say and demonstrate that they are understood. As long as you convey to them that you are genuine and sincere about your feelings toward their son or daughter, they should be greatly appreciative.

Another deal breaker and topic of discussion that will inevitably arise is children. Some couples will see eye to eye about whether or not to have kids, whilst for others, this will turn into a debate.

Despite what you or your partner feel, I think it is important to consider a few things: are you in the position to be having a child? If you are working all hours of the day and have money issues, then having another mouth to feed may not be such a wise move. Give careful consideration to what you can both do to improve your situation first.

If you don’t want children, ask yourself why. For some people, it simply isn’t something that they want to have in their lives. Many though are concerned that once they have a child, they’ll have a commitment that will prevent them from doing things that they want.

If you feel this is you, then share that with your spouse so that they understand where you’re coming from.

I’d then go out and do all of those things that you want. Seriously, I’m not kidding. Save some money up, quit your job and together spend the year checking off every last one of those things that are on your bucket-lists.  You’re probably thinking right now ‘that’s just ridiculous; I couldn’t even begin to entertain that idea’. Well do entertain it, because life is short and for all we know, you only live it once.

It is easy to think there are hundreds of things that would prevent you from doing something like this, but in reality, most of these concerns have little or no foundation. I promise you that you would come away from an experience like this a more developed and well rounded individual and couple.

You will then be in a far better position to ‘settle down’, commit yourself to, and welcome another person into your life.

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