Leave and Cleave 1: Why living BESIDE your Parents is bad for your Wife

November 22, 2014


One afternoon, I heard a story of a lovely mother telling us how she and her husband fell “out of love”.

She said their first 10 years of marriage were good when they were still living abroad together. Trouble started when they moved back to the Philippines to live in a house RIGHT BESIDE her husband’s parent’s home.

From there it was downhill. Having her husband’s family so close invited a shower of frequent criticism over her style of parenting (from the amount of her kid’s allowance, to how she should discipline them).

Now I understand why chinky-eyed Dennis Sy,(the man who married Maricar and I), taught this “LEAVE and CLEAVE seriously during our “engagement seminar”.



Dennis read from the engagement manual, “Therefore a man shall LEAVE his father and mother and shall be joined (CLEAVE) to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

This sentence has 3 parts:

This means there are 2 types of relationships.

The PERMANENT relationship is the HUSBAND-WIFE. The TEMPORARY relationship is the PARENT-CHILD.

Problems occur when these 2 roles are REVERSED and the PARENT-CHILD relationship is treated as the PRIMARY relationship. (In other words, the parent of the husband gets priority over his own wife, or vice versa)

To leave also means EMOTIONALLY, FINANCIALLY, and PHYSICALLY detach. Some may have left the family home physically, but remained emotionally and financially bound to the family, which creates a lot of resentment within the spouse.

The Hebrew translation means: to PURSUE HARD AFTER SOMEONE/ being GLUED or STUCK TO SOMEONE.

This cleaving implies that there should be NO CLOSER relationship than HUSBAND & WIFE, not with any FRIEND or PARENT.

When a husband or wife receives GREATER emotional support from the parents, RATHER THAN THE SPOUSE, ONENESS in a lot of areas of decision-making within the marriage is difficult.

Honestly, I never wanted to leave the family home. It was very comfortable and most things were paid by my parents. But now looking back, I realize LEAVING the family home, ALTHOUGH VERY PAINFUL, changed me in ways I  could not have experienced had I stayed. Here are some of rewards of “leave and cleave”:


I learned more RESPONSIBILITY when I ran away from home. No dad or mom to save your butt. When I committed mistakes, there was no one else to blame and I had to OWN UP to the consequences.

Oppositely, if a man always has his parents to bail him out, his leadership of his own family becomes dependent on his parents. The saying is true: “He that PAYS THE RENT, MAKES THE RULES.” It’s sad for a family to be led by the in-laws.

Maricar and I enjoy making our own family guidelines that may not have to be same as our parents’.


Our mentors remind us, your marriage vow to God is to keep your wife TOP PRIORITY. If you secure her this way, she will be your NO.1 SUPPORTER, no matter how difficult your road.

But if a wife feels her “In-Laws” are the priority of her husband, she then, can turn into your WORST ENEMY.


If I stayed in our family home/business, I believe I NEVER would have ended up doing WORK THAT I LOVED. I would have ended up very resentful.

Many have not “found” their destiny because they are afraid and STILL COMFORTABLE, hiding under the family’s shadow.

Conversely, many who took that scary step out are reaping something miraculous that was NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE in the family home. Nobody thought I’d end up singing. Not even me. But I discovered it when I left the nest.


How about you? Are you willing to leave and cleave to strengthen your family relationship & find your own unique road?:)



To read MARICAR’s story about LEAVE & CLEAVE, click HERE.

Posted by jon, November 22, 2014


11 thoughts on “Leave and Cleave 1: Why living BESIDE your Parents is bad for your Wife

  1. Hi. Thanks for sharing. What if let say the husband and wife can’t financially afford to live on their own? Thanks so much in advance.

    1. they had to be “ready” EMOTIONALLY, FINANCIALLY, and PHYSICALLY in the first place. if they haven’t, until when?

  2. I now understand why my husband and I fight violently because of external factor. As a wife I don’t feel sscure whenever my husband’s extended family spreads rumors about me and he gets defensive on that because these people are attached to his dad and he is afraid to disappoint his dad so he would hurl insults at me and become violent whenever he is hearing these kind of rumors about me even though he can see and knows that it’s not true. He is still attached to his parents whenever we plan to go on a trip and decide to buy a house he still asks his parents and sometimes our plan changed because of whatever his parents are saying even in raising our kids. I understand why.

  3. This is very true ..you need to live your parents soon as you get married but not forgetting them, in order for the couple to lead and formed their own life without depending on anybody else esp.parents.

  4. Blessed day..me and my husband are staying in my parents house and we already had a child. I am willing to leave my parents house and let my husband lead our family. But my husband keeps telling that he have nowhere to go and his salary is not enough for us. We wanted to have our own but i think we both are so worried about tomorrow that’s why we are afraid of stepping out of our comfort zone. What will i do and what will i tell him??

    1. It really depends on your beliefs as husband and wife. Talk about it together with love and respect. We also suggest you read the blog “LEAVE AND CLEAVE 4: Will it Destroy Family Relationships” on this site. Its about a friend who was also afraid to step out of his in-laws house… 🙂 All the best!

  5. Me and husband were initially living separately from my parents, not until my father died and we have to move in with my widowed mother. She is struggling financially and will be left alone in our ancestral home if we will not be staying with her.
    She is dominant yet loving but we contradicts sometimes. I love her but I felt guilty leaving her alone because I wanted to live on our own. I wanted to have at least get back the family freedom I had with my small family because now, she unconsciously have opinions on how we do things.
    May God enlighten me how I should face my dilemma.

  6. if i could turn back times, yes i will ask may husband to leave his family, one time in our married life lumayas na kami, but after 2 months bumalik kami kasi sabi pag may nangyari sa lola forever kami sisishin… so bumalik kami… fast forward to 2020.. may daughter confess she was molested by her cousin… i am very hurt and i even make sisi sa husband ko na you should listen to me d sana nangyari ito…. please hide nalang my name… the trauma and everything still here, nakabukod na kami pero sumama si MIL. … and everytime i see her naiinis ako…

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