Marriage changes a lot of things including family relationships. It happens real quick and can be pretty weird not having your close family (whom you have lived with for years) by your side most of the time. For some couples, the first few months are hard but with time they get to adjust especially with the arrival of a child(ren). They quickly accept that things have really changed and it is time to focus on their new family. What role(s) does relatives play in a family and where should a line be drawn in their involvement?
Here is a father’s experience:
Ogunmefun Emmanuel Temidayo is an award-winning Educator with seven years professional experience who lives with his family – his wife and son. They have been married for three years and live in the same state with his extended family. They (his nuclear family and extended family) are very close and communicate/visit each other as often as they can.
Mr Temidayo does not believe that his extended (mother, father, siblings, uncles, aunties, etc) family has a role to play in his family. According to him, his extended family has not exactly been involved in any of the affairs of his (nuclear) family. “Everyone has their own focus and issues to deal with at the moment, so, I wouldn’t say they have been involved”, he said.
He is able to balance the relationship between his extended family and nuclear family by setting boundaries in respect to interference with his nuclear family. He is very big on privacy.
No member of his or his wife’s extended family lives with them.
Finally, he stated, “If there are two competing needs between my family and extended family, my family will always take priority because I am primarily responsible for them.”
What is your relationship with your extended family like? As a father, how do you balance the relationship between your nuclear and extended family? Tell us in the comment section. We would like to know.