Is Blood Thicker Than Marriage?

Question:
Hey…I’ve got a big one that my sister is going through….what if your spouse of 10 years asks you to stop spending time with your family?

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Answer:
With crabgrass or any sort of weed, if you don’t extract it from the root it will be a recurring problem. By not taking the time to get to the source, it will become a nuisance which will resurface in your flowerbed, garden and other unwanted areas of your yard. This response is based on a limited amount of information provided, however to properly answer one must try to understand the root of the problem.

There are questions those involved should ask. Why would her spouse of 10 years now ask her to stop spending time with her family? Does he (the husband) have cause to believe that her conversations or relationship with family members is harmful to their marriage? What about her spending time with her family does he view as a threat to their marriage, their household, or to them each individually?

Typically men do not like their business disseminated among the female (or male) members of his extended family. Most men compartmentalize their emotions and will reserve until they feel they can articulate their feelings completely. This is a vulnerable state where men feel threatened and most likely will do uncharacteristic things. This inability to communicate may lead him to want his wife isolated until he figures out what their real issues are.

The other side of this coin is insecurities which may reside within him. Recently we watched a television show where the husband wanted to make their failing marriage work, and may not have communicated this effectively but he felt her friends/family were negative influences on his wife due to their behavior and the things they would suggest for her life. The manner in which he addressed the issue may have been wrong, but it was a legitimate insecurity.

There is a saying that blood is thicker than water, but it is not thicker than the oneness of marriage.

As a sibling or family member, it hurts to know someone you knew your entire life has a stronger connection with and bigger obligation to someone (who possibly from your viewpoint) they’ve only known for a few years. It’s okay to have those feelings as we are all human, but understand your role as a sibling changes with age and supportive siblings will encourage healthy marital relationships. If we set our personal feelings aside and look at it from an unbiased angle, we can see that his request is coming from someplace and may have some validity. The source of the problem is something your sister must address before she can decide the best way to handle this situation. Whatever is threatening their marriage, their household, or her spouse is an issue that can be discussed and resolved by them alone.

Biblically speaking, when a couple chooses to get married one of the first things they are to do is leave their father and mother and cleave to their spouse (see Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:5, Mark 10:7). The purpose of this is so they can symbolically become one flesh and begin to operate in life as one. This is a step they must take for their hearts and lives to unite. Unity within a marriage is of utmost importance to God. Without it, marriages will continue to fail. With God as the head of their relationship, and them operating together, their marriage will not be easily broken. Or as the Bible says a threefold cord (God, the husband, and the wife) is not quickly broken (see Ecclesiastes 4:12).

The ultimate goal in marriage should not just be obtaining a certificate for tax purposes or to prove anything to anyone else around you, but for oneness. Oneness defined as remaining in unity, harmonious agreement, consistence of purpose & action, and functioning on one accord. It is what separates or makes the marital relationship unique from all other friendships and relationships in your lives.

Marriage was given as a gift and instituted by God. That is why the Bible states “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” (see Matthew 19:6, Mark 10:9). “Let no one separate”….that goes for anyone…family included. In marriage, a husband and wife should take responsibility for each other’s welfare above all others. For a marriage to be strong, stable and lasting this must be true. The intent for marriage (doing it God’s way) is for it to be permanent, and if you allow others to come in and cause division, it won’t be (see Psalm 127:1). Marriage was not given for one spouse to control the other, but for them both to submit to one another (see Ephesians 5:21) and come into agreement about what is best for their life as one.

Your sister must choose what the priorities in her life are, and then discuss with her husband about what is best for both of their lives, and for the unity and oneness of their marriage. Again, biblically speaking, their priorities should be (1) God, (2) spouse, (3) children, and then everything else. She will have to make that decision for herself of her own free will and accord. If her marriage is important to her, she will take her husband’s feelings, thoughts, and concerns extremely seriously. His concerns should be of utmost importance to her. Or the alternative…she can choose to ignore his thoughts, feelings, and concerns and open the way for division in their marriage and home life. That is a risk she must decide if it is worth taking or not. Once she knows what her principle center is and what her priorities are, it will pave the way for her to make a wise decision about what is best for her life, her marriage, and her future.

Love & blessings,

Truth In Love

 

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