"OK, so my answer to your question is in the word BOUNDARIES. I wasn't too bad with maintaining a level of them before being married, but I was in no way prepared for what we were to face and thus enforce regarding Matt's family after being married....and I think I've shared a little of that with you before.
Praise God we lived 2,000 miles away the first two years because it could've been much worse. It took us having our first baby and then over a year of struggling pretty severely with them before things reached their breaking point forcing us to find a way to create and maintain those boundary lines whether or not they were crossed.
It still isn't perfect, but we've got a system down between Matt and I, and it has alleviated so much heartache for everyone. Knowing what is and isn't OK with us, and then not allowing other people, be it family or friends, to make us bend from pressure or manipulation is worth its weight in gold.
Of course, Matt learning how to create and maintain those boundaries where his family is concerned was the real catalyst that changed things for the better, but even that wouldn't have worked if we weren't on the same team about it all. It all seems to get a little readjusted with each new season that takes place in our lives, but we get better at it every time. I'm hoping we can teach our kiddos how incredible healthy boundaries are with people, even your own family when the time comes as well as modeling how to respect those boundaries. We're working on it, determined to be successful at it."---Melody (30)