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Sunday, October 28, 2012

The best of both worlds

A funny thing happens when two people get married.  You combine a man with a unique background and traditions with a woman who has her own set of traditions and values and try to put them together to make a new family unit.  Conflicts can show up fairly quickly, even before the marriage.  You want things one way and he wants them another.  Your family did things this way and his did things that way.  When traditions are questioned, it's as if your whole upbringing is being questioned.  The fact of the matter is that there can be more than one way to do things right.  His way worked for his family.  Your way worked for yours.  How can you resolve this?

Well, for one thing, build on the successes of the families you both grew up in.  Identify what worked well for them.  Talk with your parents.  Do the same with your husband's family.  Ask them what they felt were their successes.  Ask them how their traditions got started.  You might be surprised.  If you understood how a particular tradition of your husbands came about, you might understand his insistence that it be continued in your new little family.  And he might find out about where you are coming from when YOU want things a certain way.  Then ask both families what they would do differently.  Hindsight can be a valuable lesson for the next generation.  You can learn from their experiences, both successes and failures.

Sometimes compromise is what you both have to do to keep the peace.  That means neither is completely happy with the outcome but maybe that dissatisfaction will be short-lived.  A compromise might be the beginning of some new tradition that becomes a part of what defines your family.  Or then again, maybe not  :)  The good thing about making a decision is that if it doesn't work out, you can try something different next time.

A family is all about learning and growing.  Incorporate the best of your childhood families, add to them and create your own loving, strong and successful family. 


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