Welcome back to another Men’s Minisode with JJ!!! We’re continuing this season in red flags, by talking about her family. Woop this is a BIG one!! We hope you’re ready and excited to jump into this! We all kind of think about the type of family we want to marry into one day. The funny thing is that we really have no control over the family we come from and they also didn’t have any control over the family they come from. So really, we think the whole notion of being careful about the family you marry into should be challenged.
It’s important to approach this sitaution carefully when you have concerns about your girlfriend’s family, as family dynamics can have an impact on your relationship. Because the reality is that as you are growing closer together, her family’s dynamics are going to impact you more and more.
How to identify if it is a red flag…
How to Navigate Your Partner’s Family
Evaluate and challenge yourself! Recently, JJ was talking to a young couple that has been married about a year about this episode. BUT, what’s hilarious is that as they moved towards engagement and marriage they started having more candid conversations. They had the exact same assumption about the other’s family and it was, hey your family is crazy, like i’ve been around a lot of families and your’s is nuts! The irony is that your family and familial dynamic is the most FAMILIAR to you. It is your baseline of normal and not only is every family going to be different they are going to seem foreign and not make sense. Especially the things that are wrong or broken that you do not enjoy, those will stick out like a sore thumb.
Start internal. You should absolutely be aware of your familial dynamic as you grow and mature. Evaluate your own family FIRST. Hopefully there will be things you appreciate but then you’ll also find things that aren’t the most healthy. If your significant other comes to you and has any kind of issue with your family, it should NOT be a surprise to you if you have done any kind of work and evaluation on you and your family.
Especially in the south you hear, son, when you marry a girl you marry her family. Honestly nowadays, a united and connected family is one of the most rare things you could find. If you get this with your partner and they’re bringing that into your marriage that is an amazing and intentional gift from god. Really, distance and building a new individual life and forging your own legacy has become more important than family. We live in a hyper individualistic world. We actually really don’t enjoy this. This isn’t really what we see in other cultures. We’re actually in a place where the family has never matter less in human history then right now in the US. To have a close family takes severe INTENTION. Depending on what family you are marrying into, this is going to look so incredibly different from family to family.
The thing is that the family comes with whatever partner you choose, but you don’t choose your partner based on the family. It’s truly the bonus family you’re given that isn’t part of the deal.
It’s great to evaluate their family because it’s going to impact you. You have to identify if their family is just cray cray and you’re going to have to live with it.
Is it like, hey this is a dysfunctional family and it’s spilling over into our relationship. Your girlfriend, isn’t in a place where they’ve been able to separate and place boundaries and if you keep dating the family is going to heavily impact everything you do. This situation is definitely a red flag. We won’t say it’s a deal breaker but it is cause to gather more information.
Seek WISE COUNSEL: In Proverbs many times it says that God speaks through wise counsel. If her family's behavior is causing significant problems in your relationship, consider seeking the assistance of a therapist or counselor. They can provide guidance on how to navigate challenging family dynamics. Having someone who can give a non-bias opinion is HUGE.
Communicate with Your Girlfriend: Open and honest communication is key. Talk to your girlfriend about your concerns and how her family's behavior or dynamics may affect your relationship. Ensure that you both understand each other's perspectives. Safely and kindly express truthful opinions. Always lead with asking QUESTIONS!
Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries with her family to protect your relationship. Discuss what boundaries are necessary to maintain a healthy relationship, and make sure you both agree on them. The WHY for boundaries should always be that you want to maintain a healthy relationship. The beauty of this is that it gives you distance to evaluate objectively because you can’t see things objectively when you’re wrapped up in them.
Meygan lays out different red flags to look for, and what should be labeled as a dealbreaker vs a red flag.
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Kait talks about grieving hopefully and allowing space to process difficult times such as 2020, heartbreak, and loneliness.
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