Friday, September 5, 2008


For this cause, a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife, and they shall become one flesh, and the man and his wife were both naked, and they were not ashamed. (Genesis 2:24-25)

Since hubs and I were dating and engaged we have noticed a trend among some married couples to never "leave" their parents. Sometimes the married couple won't leave the parents and sometimes the parents won't leave them alone. Whatever the case, marriage is supposed to be a bond between a husband and wife, not husband, wife, mother-in-law and father-in-law.

The verse above is one we had in our wedding ceremony. It was very purposeful. We knew that we wanted to "cut the apron strings". Hubs said, "If we are going to do this I want "us" to do it. By ourselves. On our own. If we make mistakes I want them to be our own mistakes. I want us to create this marriage just you, me and God."

That was fine with me because I didn't know any other way. My parents had created their marriage the same way. They have been married for 41 years and that seemed like a pretty good formula to me.

As we watched many of those marriages controlled by parents and family fall apart and eventually lead to divorce, we became even more determined. It makes me sad when I think about the number of couples that we knew when we first got married that aren't married today.

Looking back over the last 18 years of marriage, I have been thinking about all the times in our marriage where we had to depend on each other. All the times we have been forced to "cleave"...

...through surgery just weeks after we were married stays
...waiting on test results
...the death of family members
...sick parents
...uncertainty and the fear of the loss of a job
...infertility and grim diagnosis from doctors
...long nights with newborn babies with reflux
...months of tube feeding Little Guy

I know that they have been building blocks for the past few weeks of stress that we have been through.

Leaving and cleaving... It is God's plan and I am so glad that we have been following it. I am sure that we will face more ups and downs in our marriage, but through all this God is truly making us one flesh.


mayberry said...

You, your husband and GOD. That is the key. 3 persons in that marriage is what has made it work and made it last.

Hope whatever you're facing is turned into a blessing for your marriage.

Carrie said...

Okay, I just wrote out a long comment and went to post it and my wireless was turned off so I lost it all. poops...

I've also seen two relatively new marriages in the last year be destroyed by family issues.

I worked with a woman who had her midget the week before me. Her husband's mom is always belittling her and saying mean things to her. She's asked her to stop, but his mom just acted like she had no idea what she was talking about. Then it escalated and she asked her husband to talk to his mom and explain that she did not want to be around her, he refused and said he couldn't imagine not being around his parents. They are still married, for now...

I'm so glad that will never EVER happen in my little family!

Miss Mud Puddle said...

You are one of my many heros (as is Mayberry)!

Deanna said...

Mayberry - This has been stressful on us as individuals and on our marriage like any struggle is, but we lean on each other and do a LOT of praying.

Carrie - That poor girl! If our marriage has had one central struggle it would definitely be in-laws. Not being too interfering... being overall neglectful and mistreating of my husband and boys. Their tractor is more important than their grandchildren.

Miss Mud - Oh my! I hope not. I am just a person who makes TONS and TONS of mistakes.

Sharon said...

Great Post,
My 1st marriage was like this, Mother in Law always in our business, always calling phone calls would start at 6 in the morning till 8:30 at night.. There were times when I would say something to him about this. I was married to him for 17 yrs. We divorced and that was just one of the reasons.. Now I am so happy, I have a wonderful mother in law, and she gives us space. Love It.
I feel for anyone that has/had to go through what I did.
This is a reminder to me of how wonderful I really have it today.

From the Doghouse said...

Really good post.

I'm also trying to convince my wife we need to cleave more often.

Confessions of A Mississippi Mom said...

I'm with the panel here, great post.

I have seen so many marriage fail apart b/c of parents influence, that is is truly sad. God takes care of things and if more couples would lean on him instead of their parents their marriage would last forever.


Deanna said...

Sharon - I am glad you are happy now!

Doghouse - Cleaving is good!

Confessions - 18 years seems like a long time, but it has flown by... I just hope God gives us 50 more!

Melanie said...

Hi, Deanna. Thanks so much for visiting me earlier this week!

I so agree with this post. Unnecessary influences (no matter how well intended) from other family members can so often only cause problems. I see this at work right now with some extended family members. So much better to put our trust in God and cleave to each other. Great post!

Hot Tub Lizzy said...

Good words! My mom tended to be the one who was a little too attached. It's hard - she's single and I'm her only child so... who else is there to talk to and harrass?

I didn't have that great a realtionship with my first MIL. I hope that will be different the next time around, but still with the proper amount of just leaning on Mr. B and he leaning on me.

Dr. Wifey said...

i'm the one that is attached to my family the most -- i am always the one my mom runs to when there is a problem, so i am brought into the middle of things. hubby finally told me that was not good for me and i have had to distance myself. not easy.

Deanna said...

Melanie - Loved visiting your blog!

Lizzy - I am so happy that you found Mr. B!! Can't wait to hear about your wedding plans.

Wifey - I think we need our families (I know I need mine sooooo much), but hubs is right... we have to have boundaries. Even my Daddy says: I love to see the headlights of my kid's cars driving up in the driveway and sometimes it is just as fun to wave at the taillights when they drive away!! Boundaries!

Wyatt Earp said...

Leave it to cleaving! *snicker*

K Storm said...

You know, my husband and I work with young married couples at church and we hear them debate family obligations and pressures that parents/grandparents place on them. We have told them that sometimes there comes a point when you have to decide do you belong to your spouse or to your parents now? Who is your family?

We have been fortunate. My parents could probably live next door and not intrude...they have encouraged us to make our time special. The respect the cleaving aspect of our marriage but offer support where needed. After seeing some other couples deal with the opposite, I have to say that we are blessed.

Deanna said...

Wyatt - Always clever you are!

K - Don't you wish everyone could be that blessed? One day we are all going to be in-laws (hopefully)... I'm taking notes!

Kelsey said...

What an awesome post!

RT said...

That verse has been going through my head the past couple of weeks (oddly, because I have no one to whom cleaving is needed). However, what you said is true and so important.

Deanna said...

Kelsey - Too bad they wouldn't you and I do Wife Swap! I would let you take care of my kids. (You have to visit Kelsey's blog to understand.)

RT - Wonder why that verse has been on your mind? God could be planting seeds in your heart.

Chickie Momma said...

LOVE this post... this is something so many couple struggle with, and my heart goes out to them. In the small group we have been leading, the focus is purely on married couples and some of the struggles they go through. Thanks for this post!