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When two people fall in love, the recipe for creating a lasting relationship needs to include how each partner views family. Will you see each others family often? Will you live close or far away? Will your family get to vote on how you make decisions or recognize that the two of you make your own decisions?

There are many kinds of families. I grew up in a large close family where it was all for one and one for all. So when my husband and I married they all thought that we would go along with what the family decided. My husband was independent and from a smaller family. He in a very healthy way saw us as making our decisions first and family second. I agreed completely. The execution was not as easy. On our wedding day my father said that the girls in his family “make the decisions”. My husband promptly said,” we are leaving” to show my dad that we were both strong in this relationship and make decisions together. My father didn’t say another word.

You and your spouse ,to be, need to come to an agreement about what you both want for your relationship with family. Talk about how you see yourselves relating with them. Both partners deserve their vote. Compromise is often the best approach since everyone’s needs are different at least a little bit. Speak up now because unhappy family relationships can destroy a marriage. Good luck negotiating.