Loyalty to parents over spouse is pretty common, especially in newly married couples.
But is it good or bad? Also, how are we supposed to deal with it since our parents are the most important people in our life for the majority of us?
This topic is not as straightforward as it might seem, and not all families and spouses are the same. So what I will write here is my personal opinion rather than professional advice. Take it into consideration only if it fits your personality and your circumstances.
Should you be more loyal to your parents than your spouse?
You should be loyal to both of them, parents and spouse. The fact that you can’t spend as much time with your parents as before after marriage doesn’t mean that you are less loyal to them, but some parents might feel this way.
Your parents should understand that loyalty is not only in the time you spend together, if they don’t, then you should talk to them to make sure they understand the new circumstances in your life.
However, many people believe they should be more loyal to their parents and not to their spouses since the parents were there for them all along and pushing them away for their spouses seems like a betrayal.
When actually, this is the circle of life, when you get married, you will naturally spend most of your time with your spouse and then with your kids while only visiting your parents from time to time if you don’t live with them. And not many people live with all their parents, it might be your parents or your spouse’s parents, but there are few chances of living with all four of them.
But we must understand why our parents feel like they are pushed away and talk about the situation rather than blaming them.
How to be loyal to your parents and spouse at the same time?
You should not push your parents away, keep talking with them, but at the same time let them know that your life is busier and you should pay attention to your spouse to have a happy family.
If you have plans for kids, that means that your family will start with you, so it is not only your spouse, but it will be the parent of your kids as well, which makes them more important.
Make sure you honestly talk with your parents about how you see the situation and how often you plan to hang out with your family going forward.
Talk positively about your spouse and your parents.
When you talk with your parents about your spouse, make sure you are not complaining all the time, which some people do and then they are surprised that their parents don’t like their spouse.
That doesn’t mean that it should be all sunshine and rainbows, but we tend to exaggerate the bad experiences and diminish or completely forget the good ones.
At the same time, don’t talk badly about your parents in front of your spouse. This situation doesn’t happen as often as the opposite, but it can happen. We tend to have low expectations from our parents and big expectation from our spouses.
In some situations, your spouse might change your opinion about your parents, since your spouse is not emotionally attached to your parents as you are, they will see them more objectively, and you might not like that.
Hearing an objective opinion about your parents might be a shock, but you should continue respecting them as you did before and not push them away. Your spouse might not do this with bad intentions, but it is just how they see those things, and it applies the other way around as well.
Set a middle ground
You should have a conversation with your parents and your spouse separately to see what expectations they have from you regarding how much time and attention you should give them.
Then you have to find a middle ground that can work for all of you, it might not be ideal for everyone if the expectations are not realistic, but you have to make a decision and let them know that you have all of them in mind when you decide how to spend your time and with who.
Many times parents feel that you are not loyal to them anymore is because you don’t spend as much time as before with them, but that is an unrealistic expectation. The opposite is true as well, if you spend too much time with your parents, your spouse might feel like you are more loyal to your parents than to your spouse.
Talk with all of them, and let them know how the circumstances have changed, but that doesn’t mean you are less loyal or love them less from now on.
What part should you take?
What part should you take when your spouse is arguing with your parents? This is an uncomfortable situation for all people involved in the discussion.
If you take your spouse’s part, you might push your parents away, if you take your parents’ part, your spouse will be very angry, if you don’t take any part, they will blame you for saying nothing.
The best thing you can do is to set realistic expectations before that. What I mean by that is to not blindly take your spouse’s part in every argument with friends and other people if you consider they are wrong. You don’t necessarily have to argue with them in front of other people, but let them know you don’t totally agree with them afterward. This will make them know that you will tell them when you don’t agree.
Do the same with your parents, and only this way, when they argue, they can count on you to say what you really believe without having favorites.
Many people consider they should be more loyal to their parents compared to their spouses by default, it is the more accepted version. More people will judge you if you aren’t loyal to your parents than if you aren’t loyal to your spouse, and that is sad because not all parents and spouses are the same.
Try to do your best to make all of them understand how you see the situation and explain to them what loyalty means to you. If you feel like you should be more loyal to one of them for good reasons, do it, you might be right, we don’t know your circumstances.