Should newly-wedded couples remain at their parents’ home?

By Chiamaka Ajeamo

Marriage is popularly believed to be the union of a man and a woman as husband and wife. This definition gives a good idea of the fact that in marriage, a new niche has been carved for two separate individuals to live as one.

These individuals who are united in conjugal bliss should be totally ready in spirit, mind and body to share things in all facets of life.

“These individuals who are united in conjugal bliss should be totally ready in spirit, mind and body to share things in all facets of life.”

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Mind you, none of these individuals have experienced this type of relationship and responsibility before; this should be their very first time, hence, the need to treat this topic with utmost care.

Usually after the wedding ceremonies, it is expected that the new couple move into their own home to start a new family.

However, in recent times, some couples have been known to remain or live in their parents’ house even after marriage especially people from conservative and wealthy families. This has been a topic for discussion lately among intending couples and others. While some are of the opinion that it is not wrong if couples remain in their parents’ provided it is comfortable, others argue vehemently against it saying it would not give them the privacy they need especially in the formative years of their marriage.

Imagine a situation where one of the couple (the man) for instance is from a very wealthy family that is close-knit and because of their wealth and influence, may have a whole estate or a big mansion which can comfortably accommodate the newlyweds.

You would agree with me that as a lady, marriage to a man from such a family would mean living with and continually running into in-law plus, trying to convince your husband to leave his family house. This might not be easy especially if he is one who upholds family traditions because no matter how nice his parents may be, this type of set-up puts everyone in everyone else’s business.

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Another, scenario to consider is a situation where the man in question has moved out but has not actually moved out in the sense that he is the one footing the bills and might even own the house with his family living with him. This case might brew quarrels between the couple especially if his income does not have the capacity to accommodate the payment and upkeep of two separate families in same house coupled with other responsibilities.

Let us go back to our definition of marriage. It is the union of a man and a woman to become husband and wife and unless you change this definition, no argument would sound for a couple to co-exist with the parents. We cannot even begin to enumerate the unnecessary avoidable problems they would have to deal with and the challenges they would run into by trying to make this type of arrangement of parental co-existing work.

For a family where the whole relatives live in a big mansion, who is really the man of the house? Who calls the shots? And would a woman like to live in another woman’s shadows after getting free from her mother’s? In a situation where the man cannot afford another house, can he have an argument or want to make a decision that affects his family with the wife and no one else interfere? What if the wife is someone who doesn’t like a big family? What then happens when the family of the wife decides to come and stay too? Can the husband tell them not to? What about when the kids start coming?

The answer to all these is quite simple, COUPLES SHOULD NOT LIVE WITH THEIR PARENTS especially for the early part of their marriage.

The fact that these people are coming from two different family backgrounds that have lived and been taught to think in different ways, they need to be alone as newly-weds to review their living and thinking pattern so as to work out new plan for the family they want to build together. This is why a husband and a wife cannot be readily around people who would see their new decisions as a breach of the family tradition; it is also at this early stage that they decide how they want to raise their children.

I remember vividly, an aunty of mine (Aunty Oluchi) who lived with her mother in law few years after her marriage because she was the only family her husband had from their nuclear family.  Initially, there seemed to be serenity in the house until the following year when their first child David was welcomed into the family.

The husband was always torn between choosing to go with either the mother’s idea or the wife’s whenever they had to make a choice concerning the child’s upbringing. For example when little David was to be put in a school, the husband left the responsibility of choosing a school to the wife who preferred the new and sophisticated science schools around their residence but the mother favoured putting David in a Catholic school as this she argued: would strengthen the baby’s roots and not allow him stray from the family religion. This strained the marriage early and started quarrels which led to my aunty and her husband moving to another house of their own just to let the sleeping dog lie.

Newlyweds need this space early to work out their personalities in the physical, work on their attitudes, characters and might even need to work on their sleeping habits (for guys who snore and wives that can’t take snoring). They need to renew their minds to think alike in decision making so that when they are apart, either of them can successfully run the family and reach a decision that both would agree on. We all know that our society frowns at cohabitation so I believe we should allow the couples cohabit alone now that they have met the necessary requirements or endorse the former.

You know on another thought I think we should just stick with the later bearing in mind that no individual in their right senses would want to move out of their parent’s house only to move into their parent’s house.  They also need to build themselves spiritually and be in agreement in the spirit because this would reduce the issue of clashes in the belief system that both of them have grown up with as separate individuals.  Lending credence to this from the holy scripture, Paul’s letter to Titus in chapter 2 from verse 3 to 5 of the King James Version (KJV) says:

“3. The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;

  1. that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children
  2. to be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.”

This shows a pattern of the old teaching the younger ones how to live in marriage and not living it for them. If you are experienced in a field, and you see others going off track, you have the duty to correct and instruct but definitely not to interfere and this is bound to happen if the couples live in their parents’ homes.

Couples might make mistakes at times but I believe they should be allowed to co-exist alone and anything that would warrant any other kind of living that involves parents or relatives should be totally unwelcomed.

I would like to end with this simple quote of mine “Before you move in, make sure you have moved out” and this applies to both.  Marriage is for two to become one, let them be.

“I would like to end with this simple quote of mine “Before you move in, make sure you have moved out” and this applies to both.  Marriage is for two to become one, let them be.”

 

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