Genesis 2:24 “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (KJV)
Most people have at least heard of Genesis 2:24, but I wonder how many people truly understand it. Since tomorrow is my 20th wedding anniversary, this Scripture has popped into my mind & I figured the timing to discuss it was good.
Being close is one thing, but being enmeshed is very bad. No doubt many of my readers know about enmeshed families. Narcissistic families often have enmeshment down to an art form, since their families are very cult-like. When one member gets married, this often means trouble for the new in-law.
When my husband & I first met, it didn’t take me long to learn he was very involved with his family. Enmeshed, really, although I didn’t know the term at the time. Coming from my own dysfunctional past, I thought at first that it was good they were so “close.”
My mother in-law hated me from the day we met, which was before my husband & I started dating. Once we started dating, it got a lot worse & it was worse after our marriage. Because she felt this way, her two daughters did as well, although one hid it for a few years. Over the years, they subjected me to many cruel comments & actions letting me know I was not good enough to be a part of their family. Yet, at the same time, I was told that I would be there on special days like Christmas & there was no acceptable excuse not to be in attendance. They also had ideas of the type of person I should be & look like, which became incredibly annoying to me since I’m not anything like they wanted me to be. This all created a tremendous amount of stress in my marriage which lead to me considering divorce many times.
And sadly, I felt completely alone. I honestly thought no other woman went through what I was going through. How wrong I was! As I began to write about Narcissistic Personality Disorder, I learned a LOT of other people had almost identical experiences with their in-laws. It seems this must be common with narcissistic families, to treat the in-law more like an outlaw, make demands of them & have unrealistic expectations of them & causing problems in the marriage.
I firmly believe situations like this are why God wrote Genesis 2:24. When a couple is married, whether they’ve been married 2 weeks or 40 years, they need to be a COUPLE, not have others involved in their marriage. Even if the people in question are good people, it’s just inappropriate & causes problems in a marriage to have the intrusion of other people. Feelings will get hurt, someone will feel put upon or left out, arguments will happen.. it’s just not good! Couples needs to keep their marriage their top priority after God, & not pay attention to what other people’s opinions are.
It’s also very inappropriate for a married person to discuss the intimate details of their marriage with their parent or child. They don’t need to be privy to that information. All it will do is cause tension between the partner being discussed & the other person, plus if a child knows such information about their parent, it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the child. Children often take things personally, even things that shouldn’t be taken personally. The child may feel to blame for the parent’s bad behavior or the marital problems. The child may even feel it’s his or her duty to fix the problem when clearly nothing could be further from the truth!
If you’re in the situation of someone else being involved in your marriage, please talk to your partner! Remind him or her of Genesis 2:24. Ask God to give you the right words to say so your partner will understand the importance of this issue. Suggest marriage counseling, perhaps. It’ll be very challenging but you can get through this!