I really hope you all had a good / restful weekend.
I know I did. I spent it with my mom! I needed a break so I went and spent the weekend with her!
Anyway, I have been pondering on this topic for a while – Merging families and I finally got the courage to write about it.
Not so many people know I almost ended up with someone else as I had gotten pregnant and mostly due to our religious custom, I nearly married him for it. To be honest, I am glad that I did not make that mistake as I was far from ready for marriage neither was I with the right person for me.
It was never my wish to lose a child but that happened which made moving on both tough and easy at the same time. I still struggle to imagine what may have happened if he survived and I ended up marrying another man.
One major question I ask is how easy would it have been for my husband to accept this child? Would it have been selfish of me to want him to accept full responsibility for a child that wasn’t his? Another question that bugs me is would my child’s father have been okay with another man bringing up his child?
Other questions that I ask are: how easy will it have been to merge families? Would my child grow up to love my husband as his father? Would my in-laws have accepted us even with the ‘baggage’? How would the world see me? Would I have had to play mediator between my husband and the child? These are a few of the many questions that I cannot seem to find answers to.
My mind ponders on how people do it.
I know the situation would have been tough for all parties involved but I know there is always a way out. The role of Love cannot be over emphasized or downplayed when it comes to handling issues in marriage.
The Bible says ‘Love covers all sin’… I believe the Love that exists between a man and his wife can definitely overcome whatever issues may occur when merging families.
One mistake I have realized people we make is personalizing a problem. We tend to forget that whatever affects us, affects the people closest to us.
In marriage, your problem is your spouse’s problem.
Your child is your spouse’s child. This should be settled and agreed upon before the wedding. Bringing a child into a home is not like bringing in a dog or an animal. This is far more intimate and sensitive.
If your spouse can love you regardless of your many flaws, this should not be any different. Of course there is room for negotiation and sacrifice. If your spouse and child clash (this happens usually for older children) then there should be room for negotiation.
Managing the relationship between spouse and child is key. The child must be informed of the position and place of your spouse and vice versa. Both parties should be given equal opportunities to make it work. Just like we grow in love, relationships are not built in a day.
Finally, the place of the extended family must be kept as stated….Extended. I know we (Nigerians) are family oriented. Especially in the Yoruba culture, you marry your spouse and the family. This must not hinder the growth of the marriage. There should be clearly defined lines that both parties must not cross. “…that is why the man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife…” His wife, not his wife’s family, not his wife’s friends, his wife alone.
I was motivated to write this based on an experience of someone close to me, I really hope all who find themselves having to merge families do so with the guidance of God and find this post helpful.