Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Naming the Marriage Killers - Part 1

In the May 26, 2012 issue of the Vancouver Sun, Tara Carsman and Douglas Todd “embarked upon a highly unscientific study” to find out what academics, counsellors and divorce survivors thought were the Marriage-Killers.

Not surprisingly, they found that “family interference” was high on most wanted list. John Boland, a Vancouver-based counsellor suggested that loyalty to ‘couplehood’ should be paramount to loyalty to the extended family. When in-laws are overly involved in the relationship offering unsolicited advice, the strain can become unbearable.

Several months ago, I was contacted by a young Indo-Canadian woman. She had been married only for a year, and had been living with her husband’s family for most of that first year.  She could not tolerate that her mother-in-law played such an integral role in her marriage. Finally, the young bride convinced her husband that they must move out from the in-laws’ home. Although this was certainly a difficult decision for her husband given his divided loyalty, they ultimately did move into their own home. However, she remained frustrated that her mother-in-law was still involved, despite living separately from the couple.

Admittedly, in some family settings, in-law involved is acceptable practice and tolerated. For others, it’s the straw that breaks the camel’s …marriage.

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