To the naked eye, and in literal terms, blood is thicker than water. And in most situations, I would agree with the phrase. But when referring to two married adults, is this the case? We’ve all been told at some point in our lives that blood IS thicker than water. That is, your family, your blood, should always come first. You never turn your back on your family. Yet at times family can hurt you more deeply than friends, leaving you to wonder who needs enemies with family members like mine. And sometimes your friends are there for you, and more supportive of you than your own family.
Even Oprah has said that Gail, her well-known best friend, is the mother she never had and the sister she always wanted. On the flip side, there’s nothing like having a sister or brother, or another member of your family that knows you and allows you to be yourself. The fellowship and unconditional love and trust is like no other. But when your family doesn’t accept who you’ve chosen as your spouse, and simply refuses to trust your decision, and/or respect your relationship, what do you do? How do you move forward? I remember seeing an episode of The Real Housewives of New Jersey and hearing Teresa Guidice yell to her brother, “Be a man and stick with your blood!” She wanted him to protect and defend her, his sister, and not his own wife. He was somehow weak and ultimately wrong for “choosing” to stand by his wife’s side. It makes me wonder, when put in the situation of having to choose between your spouse and your family, what’s the right choice?
It’s an understandably difficult situation since choosing your spouse can mean losing more than one member of your family.
It could mean losing your entire family in some cases. And while it shouldn’t be a choice anyone has to make, as I discuss in “The Single MIL Syndrome“, when improper roles are established and the concept of letting go is not understood, dynamics and situations are created where choices have to be made, or people have to be shocked into realizing that not being respectful when you can’t be supportive can mean losing the very person that means the most to you. And only at that point of realization, does change seem to start to happen. To be clear, I’m not referring to situations where violence of any kind is present. But in situations where your spouse has done nothing wrong but marry you, what are you to do? What choice do you make?The concept of blood being thicker than water is a vast misconception from a marriage perspective that can, and eventually does lead to strained and broken relationships, whether between spouses or extended family. It makes me wonder, does the engrained thought that blood is thicker than water cloud a couple’s ability to achieve and understand the true meaning of marriage? And ultimately does it keep family members from letting go? We’re taught from day one that you stick with your family at all times no matter what. So once you get married and there is conflict between your family and your spouse, you have trouble knowing how to handle the situation and ultimately whom to defend and protect, even if your “family” is in the wrong. And usually, this means you man the fence somewhere in the middle. As I discuss in my blog titled “Therefore Shall a Man Leave His Father and His Mother,” a man must separate from other relationships that have been given identification in the past in order for him to achieve total identification with his wife. This means that from a biblical standpoint, once you marry, your spouse takes on the most important position and role in your life. The relationship between a husband and a wife is, and becomes the highest and most important relationship in your family, though you’re not related by blood. Which begs the question, is blood really thicker than water?