Ana Morante, LMFT
Latino marriage differences
For Latino marriages, we have a value that is very important and at many times strengthens our relationship. This is how important the concept of family is. In this sense we know that as Latinos commitment to our family is number one value and during times of crisis that is going to hold us together. It is also going to help us to have support from our extended family.
However, that can also be one of our big challenges for our relationships. First of all, for Latino women, we have a sense or we have been raised with the idea that our roles of the mother should be a number one priority. So after we have kids, he is the number one priority in our list before ourselves, before our husbands, before anybody else. And what we realized is when that happens then the couple starts to shake because we see that when couples are working together, the entire family benefits from that.
What we need to understand Latina moms, is the best deal for my children is to really have a strong relationship with my partner. And in order to do that I have to spend some time and energy nurturing that relationship with my husband and I understand sometimes it is like well what about the kids and what are we going to leave them with? What is going to happen to them, we need to trust that our children are going to be better when husband and wife take the time and the energy to nurture that relationship and still strengthen that. In that way can also offer a good modeling for our children and we will have each of us more to offer to them when we do that.
The second piece of family is the in laws, right? We are very attached to our parents. In fact the Latino culture teaches supreme obedience to the parents. And as we grow up, in many countries for example, you do not move out of your parents house unless you get married. Nobody of you 30, 40 or 50 you still live with your parents. And that also gives a lot of power to why the parents have to stay in your life even when you are in an adult.
That could pose a challenge for our marriages because once we get together with our partner we need to recognize that that should be our number one relationship. And the decisions need to be taken by both of us and when we see that our parents or our in laws with their best intention have lots of good ideas for us, what we need to do is listen to them, thank them for their idea but always make sure that we run our decisions first with our partners. Now, if I see that my parents are having a difficult time accepting my husband, it is my job to talk with my parents and to help them understand that now this should be my number one priority and in fact when we see that happening, we see that a lot of the parents feel good because now they do not see their family shrinking but on the other hand they have another son or daughter that is going to come with them.
But it is very clear to keep those boundaries — it is very important to keep their boundaries clear in terms of you guys are supporter for us, you guys are good and we want to have our relationship with you with the understanding that this is now our number one relationship.
Copyright – 2013-14 – Tunomi Unlimited Incorporated (Twoology)