In a marriage, you not only marry your fiancé, but their family as well. The secret to making this relationship successful is to base it on accepting the other’s life story.
Medical Advisor: Rosa Guevara
Psychologist and sexologist, practitioner at Coomeva Private Healthcare
When establishing a union, a healthy practice is for the couple to comprehend that each person is not just an individual version of themselves, and to understand that each has a family history that comes with them.
“Two individuals do not become complete when they unite as a couple. They are already two complete beings. Understanding this allows each person to have their own history, which is the essence of their behavior,” explains psychologist and sexologist Rosa Guevara.
In other terms, the professional explains that each individual represents something more than just themselves, and only when we see them as part of something bigger and still choose to love them, can a healthy union be established. See also Turn family conflict into an opportunity.
We ask Guevara, “So you don’t just marry your fiancé, but you marry their family too?” She responds, “In the end, people fall in love with an individual that belongs to an entire system and that has been educated and raised with their parent’s values and traditions.”
It is therefore essential for the two people that are about to walk down the altar to have their priorities clear when it comes to family, to make sure they dance to the same beat and that things flow naturally, avoiding having to swim upstream. This means accepting your fiancé’s parents, siblings and grandparents, becoming enriched from these relationships and learning to respect all that that the person is. “The other’s family will always have philosophies or beliefs that we will not approve of. We are all free to have a belief or feeling about this,” she explains.
A balancing act
The fact is that there is no such thing as families that are more conflictive than others, or more dysfunctional than others, or perfect or unhappy couples. We are all just human beings with our own characteristics and identities.
“The balancing act of a relationship and the families involved in one can be compromising when it comes to our differences. We must accept that we are two people with our own qualities that have chosen a new system of living as a couple and as a family. Everything in life has two sides to it and couples are no different. Marriage is not like a straightjacket or a place to be limited,” Guevara indicates.
If this advice is followed, the following phrases should not have to be heard: “Every time I hear you talk, I feel like I’m listening to your mother instead of you,” “Our relationship is not just the two of us, it is the three of us,” “We would have a lot less problems if you listened to me instead of your siblings,” and “I feel like your parents are always invading our space.” Work towards preventing this type of dialogue from threatening the stability and harmony of your future home, where both partners choose to live in a consensual, comfortable and constructive union.
A true commitment
In his book Happy Life, Happy Love,* Swami Prajnanpad of India, identifies five criteria for recognizing the profound value of a partner:
1. The relationship should be easy and should flow without much effort.
2. The two beings should not be too incompatible, nor too different.
3. The partner’s family members should be true friends and should also feel companionship.
4. The couple should have complete faith and trust in each other.
*Translation proposed by the translator.