Monday, September 5, 2016

Marriage Advice

I attended the wedding of my cousin this weekend. She was radiant, and they were both so happy, and it was exciting for us to see her start this next step of her life.

Watching her reminded me of the time that I attended her sister’s bridal shower. We had my aunts, cousins, and her grandma there. Multiple generations attended, and it was fun. During the festivities, we went around the circle, and each of us gave her some marriage advice.

One of our great aunts told her that she should never complain about him to other people. I interjected, telling her that if she does need to complain, to do it to his mom, because she already loves him. There was a short silence, and then they continued.

After that incident, I told my hubby that I wasn’t sure why the ‘traditional’ marriage advice seemed off to me. Or why everyone seemed shocked that I would complain about him to my Mother-in-Law. The more we talked, the more I realized that I had a specific reason for talking to her about our issues. Most of the time, I was verifying if this was normal behavior or not.

Hubby is from Bolivia, which means we come from two different cultures, and from very different expectations. Sometimes, he does something that’s so out left field for me that I don’t know how to respond. That’s when I talk to my Mother-in-Law. I’m basically complaining, but also making sure that this is something that isn’t normal for them either. Sometimes, she tells me that it’s how everyone in Bolivia does something, and I again remember how different we are. Other times, she supports me and tells him to shape up.

Cultural differences, as well as beliefs and attitudes can be wearing on a marriage. But before we jump to conclusions, we try and find out if it’s just personal differences or if it’s something cultural. It’s saved us from numerous unnecessary fights.

Obviously, I don’t complain to her about everything. But it’s nice to know that I can trust her enough to let me know if I’m worrying about nothing.

I love my Mother-in-law, and I appreciate the loves and support that she's shown me over so many years.