“Will you marry us?”
Family Planning doesn’t necessarily mean what you think it means.
Webster’s definitions of family are many but these are my two favorites.
- a group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation : fellowship
- a unit of a crime syndicate (such as the Mafia) operating within a geographical area
I actually did have a Bride once who married into a crime family although I seriously DO NOT RECOMMEND you try this at home. I’ve seen The Godfather.
(No, this is not a picture from The Godfather, these are my Great Grandparents even though they look the part.)
The first definition, however, is my absolute favorite of all the definitions. At this age I truly understand that family is not always what you are born into but what you create; who you choose to surround yourself with. Family is also the unit you marry into, for better or worse. But if it’s not ideal, you can always make it better.
When you marry a person, you marry a family so be prepared and understand it is part of the package deal with the person you love. To varying degrees, you will have to adjust if you want a solid foundation and peace in your own home. In no way am I saying to be pushed around or lost in the madness but instead, try to fit in and most of all, make sure when you are with your spouse’s family you set the temperature on chill. People don’t quite understand their power in every situation. You have the power to lighten a mood or darken a mood in an instant. If your spouse feels you are uncomfortable then instantly he/she is uncomfortable. It’s a chain reaction. When it’s all good, it’s all good and you can be the reason for that “good.”
Here’s what I’ve learned in life that serves me best: I can be in any group of people, have the complete opposite religious, political or just core beliefs and yet find at least one thing in common with everyone present. At that point, an entire conversation can begin and if I start the conversation on common ground, it can make a huge difference in how a family holiday or gathering will turn out as well as how my relationship with my spouse will continue to grow.
Here are some tips for a better you:
- See the best in your partner and work to nurture that even if he/she acts like an eight year old around Mom or Dad. If you have criticism or need a change, bring it up later and ask for your partner’s help rather than blaming them.
- Be grateful for your partner and the people who made him/her who they are today. After all, you chose to be with them for some reason.
- Have fun. GEEZ, already. HAVE FUN!!!
- Take positive action. Again, you have the power to turn any situation into a good one. It’s a simple breath and a choice to be the bigger/better person. The high road has fewer traffic jams anyway. If you fail at any point, just remember that families are our teachers. There’s always another test and chance to do better. You got this.
- Be kind. I don’t know why, but sometimes I think this is the hardest one. We are kind to a stranger we meet on the street then we go home and take all of our frustrations out on the person we love the most. We need a kinder world and you can help get us there.
Anyway darling, welcome to the family.
(This is an actual picture from The Godfather. “Amore”)