Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The Marriage Ref
I don't know if any of you have been watching The Marriage Ref on NBC (you should btw it's hilarious) but I'm really enjoying it. While the idea is a little tacky, to help a fighting couple choose a winner, the fights, the couples and the panel of judges are very very funny. They do a great job of taking something that we think is a huge deal, like a big, never ending fight, and shed light on how ridiculous it is by using comedy...genius non? And then the panel votes on who has a better argument; and, they choose a winner supposedly to help end the fight for good (probably doesn't but still the idea is there).
Most of the fights have been over the top but comical, like the husband fighting over the dining room table that the wife refuses to use except for Thanksgiving, or the wife fighting with the husband who had their dead dog stuffed which now resides in the living room and creeps her out...but last thursday there was this couple...
The Spiegels. You can go read the description of the couple for yourself but I have to tell you it just doesnt do them the justice that they deserve. Clive, the husband is well...close with his mom, meaning he tells her EVERYTHING. She in return is sabotaging his 14 year marriage to his wife, Jacqueline. The mom is completely, 100% in Clive and Jackies business, she talks crap about the wife to her son regularly, telling him she's uneducated, and how awful she is and he just sits there and listens to her. It just gets worse and worse and worse escalating to a most unhealthy level to the nth degree. It was horrifying and I have to be honest I cannot for the life of me imagine that the wife has dealt with this for so long, the mother in law has been given a freedom she never should have been allowed and it's sickening. Oh, yeah did I mention he's a psychiatrist?
This got me thinking, how much information and freedom to roam should the in laws or your parents have in your relationship? I know we like to confide in our parents and we want them to be a part of our lives but how far is too far?
The boy is awfully close with his family, he tells them an awful lot (something I have taken issue with in the past), and his sister who is married has a room at her house all devoted to when their parents come to visit; which I have to say is well A LOT. I think its weird how much she lets them in to her marriage, I think it's dangerous ground. I don't have parents who are always here to see me, and I have to say I appreciate that. They have allowed me to grow up and be independent and do my own thing and it would weird me out and exhaust me if they were always here to "check in" and come for a visit. I sometimes feel that the boy's sister has allowed their parents to be too involved in her personal life with her husband. I know that she's close with her mom and I admire that but it's a bit too close if you ask me.
With a parents tendency to want to keep and eye on their kids and want the best for them even when we've grown up, what happens if you allow the freedom of openness in your romantic relationship as well? I know when I go home I try to avoid telling my dad and stepmom too much about my relationship because I know they would meddle if they were allowed and they certainly try when I'm home leaving me upset and questioning parts of my relationship I felt good about before I went home.
So, how far is too far? And how do you go about protecting your personal relationship without alienating your parents? At what age are we supposed to stand up for our love lives and start to keep privacy and distance?
I know that the boy and I could have that problem from both sides but we also love our parents and don't want them to feel unwelcome in our lives, our parents do often have experiences to share and advice to give that we may not know nothing about at this point in our relationship. But I do know that I certainly don't want to end up like the Speigels. There has to be boundaries and protection without causing distance...