Week 13: Transitions in Marriage: In-Law Relations

Rules, there are rules for everything! Rules for sitting at the dinning table, rules for driving, rules for how you should act in public, rules, rules, rules, so many rules so little time. I remember growing up being surrounded by rules and wondering why there were so many rules, why did I have to follow so many rules? Why did all these rules apply to me and why did my parents think I was a horrible child that needed all these rules? Why do I need to sit at the table a certain way? Why can’t I eat dessert first? Why do I need to put money away and why can’t I just spend it all?

I know that there are some rules that I want to take into my future family that my parents had for me. One of the rules that I still abide by even though I have lived away from home for over 10 years. This rule is about money. My mom has always been a very budget conscious person, this she passed onto me. I remember when I was in college and was applying for my first credit card; it was a big day in my life. This credit card would bring me great financial freedom in my life; I could do what ever I want with it! Yet my mom the great women that she is imposed a rule on me, she told me that as long as I had a credit card I needed to make sure that I paid it off every month, if not she would take it away from me. My mom even what as far as to make up a contract that we both signed (and she still has it to this day).  I know that when I have children they will all have to sign a contract and be under the same rule as I am.

Bernard Poduska says that there are three different types of rules “explicit, implicit, intuitive”(Poduska, 2000, p. 2-3). Explicit rules “are expressed verbally or posted on the refrigerator door”. Implicit rules “often have the greatest impact on our lives, they are taught through nonverbal communication and repeated throughout childhood. They tend to be just below conscious awareness”. Intuitive rules “also unspoken, concern those that are more far reaching” (Poduska, 2000, p.2-3).

I grew up in an “explicit family rules” (Poduska, 2000, p.2) house; all of our rules were very verbalized. I remember my mom always telling me the rules, there never seemed to be any unwritten rules in our house, everyone knew the rules and we could never use the excuse “I did not know that was a rule” because we always new the rules. I think being able to have all the rules written allowed all of us to flourish together, there was never anyone’s certain seat or rules that were unknown to “outsiders”. When my sister-in-law first came into the family my parents sat down with her, my brother and I and set out more rules so that everyone would be on the same page. These rules still apply to my parent’s house (as long as you are not married).

Growing up in a house full of rules, how could one person survive? Now that I am older, I can see how the rules that my parents placed upon me, allowed me to be safe, nurtured, loved and yet it they still allowed me to make mistakes and break the rules.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s