It’s Every Girl’s Dream-Part III in the Series-The Marriage Comes First
19 Oct 2016
By Mary Ann Lawson, Psychologist
From the Series: “It’s Every Girl’s Dream”
Pillar 2: “The marriage remains the primary relationship in the family. That is especially tough when the parenting relationship preceded the marriage. There are mixed loyalties, leftover feelings of guilt, and awkward new roles to traverse. Prioritize the marriage, do not undermine each other, and make sure the children get to be children.”
Understanding parenting from the new couple’s perspective may be the toughest challenge yet! Because the biological parent-child bond preceded the marriage bond and because of all of the pain all have experienced, many people feel it is betrayal to their child to place a priority on the marriage bond. The reality that a newly married couple have often not had time alone without children to adjust to each other’s preferences and to celebrate their union adds stress to the many dynamics of a family.
The inevitable interruptions from kids who are struggling with their own adjustments, from former spouses, and from “normal” life exacerbate the stress experienced by the couple. The relationship faces challenges from all sides.
In these times it is essential to remember the marriage relationship is the heart of the family. We do not remarry to repair or complete the former family. The marriage is the initiation of a new family with the couple at the core. Developing and maintaining that strong bond is crucial for the continuing existence of this blended family. A strong marriage protects the children from the loss of another family and provides a positive model for their future relationships.
Building and maintaining that bond requires a conscious effort to nurture and feed that relationship by making time to be alone without the children, by communicating effectively and often, and by nurturing the love that brought you together. The marriage is the central bond that makes the new family work!