Tuesday, 2 February 2016

LEAVE AND CLEAVE: Living Separately From In-Laws

married the eldest and only boy from a traditional Chinese family.  

Traditionally, we were expected to live with (or at least near) his parents. The  typical Filipino-Chinese set-up is: Everybody lives in one building or one big compound.

However, my husband wanted to give me a home where we can learn to adjust, make mistakes and learn on our own.

I'm lucky that my mother and father in-law are not strict. They did not demand that we live with them...even if they recently bought a 6-bedroom house in New Manila.

They also don't meddle in our affairs. They never visit our home without an invitation. They don't barge in unannounced. 

Even during our wedding preparations, my in-laws never got in the way.

I appreciate the space they have given us. 

My husband only moved out of his parent's home when we got married. I, on the other hand,  have lived alone since I was 20 years old. By the time I got married, I already owned a small condo.

That being said, I am not used to living with anyone...even my own family.  Truth be told, the only person I can tolerate to live with is my own brother.  He has this ability to stay out of my way.

Living away from his parents, allowed my husband and I to talk (and fight) without filters.

Fighting is an integral part of growth. It allows couples to express and discuss their strong point of views in life.  It is through these "passionate debates" that I get to know my husband better.  When my husband is very angry, he opens up more. 

I'm sure had we chosen to live with our in-laws, we would not have been able to fight freely because we would have been too worried that they would hear us. And if they do hear us, I'm pretty sure it'd feel awkward.

Living on our own, also made us more responsible in managing our own budget. Now, my husband understands that turning the aircon the entire night has a significant effect on our electricity bill. When he lived with his parents, he never thought about such things.

In our home, my husband makes all the important decisions. Because he shows leadership, I admire him even more. 

If we live with his parents then by default they will make the decisions because they own the house!

And in every decision my husband makes, I am the priority...because I am the only person he lives with. He doesn't need to worry about how his decision will impact his family because our household affairs have nothing to do with theirs.

When we made our decision to leave and cleave, we did it because I'm just a very difficult person to live with. We were surprised that the church actually endorses and encourages this practice. 

"Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined  to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

I really appreciate that my husband gave me this privilege even if we defied traditions. I am sad that I will have to temporarily leave our home when I give birth. 



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