It is said that on
your wedding night, there are at least six people in bed with you!
Husband and wife
make two. His parents make four and hers make six. If there have been
remarriages by either set of parents or by either of the spouses, then
the number is even larger.
Six or more people
in bed with you on your wedding night!
Think about that
in terms of mathematical factorials.
A factorial is any
number, times the next lowest sequential number and so forth, times the
factorial (6!) equals 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 720 possible combinations
resulting from each of the six people in bed with you.
If each person has
only one expectation of what a couple should do, then, theoretically,
there are 720 possible “expected shoulds”.
However, if each
person has more than one expectation of what a couple should do, then
the number of “expected shoulds” should explode into outer space!
So what should a
couple do? Especially, when each partner endeavors, in good faith, to
fulfill the expressed and implied “expected shoulds” of their,
respective, family of origin?
In my opinion, a
couple must evaluate and select whose family is at issue or, to put it
simply, whose family comes first.
This question is
forever being played out on the stage of the holiday season and is
complexified when one family’s traditions are different from the other
couples seem to quibble about money, sex, religion and politics, it has
been my experience that “family” represents the single greatest
The safe path to
take is one in which a couple tries to make everyone happy by juggling
or rotating their time, resources and affections between the major
players in this drama.
only problem with this strategy is that even if each partner’s family is
happy with the couple minding their place, their place isn’t really
“their” place, but their, respective, family’s of origin place.
The difficult path
to take is for the couple to prioritize “their” family as “The First
Husband and wife
and kids are first!
This is the brave
new family world whose primary task now is to create their own unique
traditions in their own unique family…their family…”The First
Family”…which, now and forever after, comes first.
The alternative, I
fear, is to go along to get along and then, to silently resent the hell
out of his family or resent the hell out of her family because there can
never be any “their” there.
When “The First
Family” just so happens to be your family, then “their” is here, there
and everywhere or, in other words, “The First Family”!
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