How to Cut the Apron Strings Before the Honeymoon

Prove Yourselves

Being married to a man who is both a very beloved son and also the baby of the family hasn't exactly been a walk in the park for Ellen* (whose name we've changed to save her from her screeching phone calls from her mother-in-law). In fact, every major decision or purchase has been a learning experience.

"I think it shocks his family that we make decisions like buying a home or taking a vacation without getting their input," said Ellen, who has a much more laid-back relationship with her own parents. "For me, the shock factor is kind of funny."

Married for a few years now, Ellen and her hubs have taken baby steps in the journey to independence, often choosing to demonstrate, rather than verbally explain their capabilities as a couple.

"Proving myself in some way -- whether it's through an event I've planned or a dinner I've hosted demonstrates that we're mature and doing just fine on our own," Ellen said.

Despite her strong attachment to her baby boy, Ellen's mother-in-law has loosened up a little since she's been able to witness firsthand her daughter-in law's devotion to her son. With any luck and some flexibility from all parties involved, your family can hopefully evolve to a place where everyone feels loved and attended to, preferably before your silver anniversary!

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  • "10 Things You Can Do to Have a Healthy Marriage." National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. (March 16, 2011).
  • "Maintain a Healthy Relationship With Your Parents." Reader's Digest. (March 14, 2011).
  • Stokes, Brenda. "Managing Your Mother-in-Law: How to Have a Healthy Relationship." BabyZone. (March 14, 2011).