”Children who cling to parents or who don't want to leave home are stunted in their emotional, psychological growth.” -Dirk Benedict

Leaving the nest for that special someone: The process of going from the position of being under your parents authority and transitioning into marriage is perhaps one of the biggest changes any person can take. From the silly rules we remember like that 11 or 12 o’clock curfew you occasionally broke or never followed to begin with. Or, maybe your parents were liberal and you didn’t have a curfew, but there probably were one or more rules you can come up with that your parents had for you. The emphasis of following your parent’s rules to being loyal to your spouse is a mighty big change.

    When I say being loyal that encompasses many things:
  • Respect
  • Obvious marriage rules
  • Acceptance of personality traits, identity, and mannerisms
  • Listening to your spouse when they say they don’t want to go to your parents place for dinner.

One translation of Mark 10:7 (which was pointed out to me to have been in Greek quoting Gensis 2:24 which was Hebrew) “For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and shall cling to his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” The word cling is translated as “cleave” or something along the lines of “join with his wife.” Regardless, I like the word “cling.” “The Hebrew word for leave is 'azab, aw-zab’ and it means to loosen, relinquish, forsake, leave. The meaning is obvious. Then instead, you are to cling to your spouse. The Hebrew word for cling, ‘dabaq, daw-bak’ means cling or adhere, abide fast, cleave fast together, follow close hard after, be joined together, stick.” (Hissheep)

So this process could also be called going from dependent to independent. Which leads to children, who then become dependent upon you. The process of course then is a cycle. Later as time goes on, perhaps you then take care of your parents in thanks for taking care of you. Whether that’s doing the right thing or allowing them to move into your basement, there is a concept of re-dependence.

“If we pause to think about it, each of us has a large amount of precedent in our own life in structuring and altering reality. We have all made transitions from child to spouse to parent, from student to occupational specialist, in many cases from supervised to supervisor. Natural transitions, yes, but in each instance we have assumed a different role, and to some large degree our life pattern was altered in the process; often our entire relationship to the world around us altered with it. None of these transitions was inevitable. We made choices, we moved toward goals, we pursued directions of our own free will.” (Irv Thomas)

Children cling to their parents for support. Not only financially do they need their parents. They learn about the basics of life and are nurtured. When they leave the nest this is the first opportunity for the relationship from parent-child to become adult-to-adult. Additionally, when married a few things might change. Chores are shared in one manner or another between husband and wife. If you want to get it done you do it, or it doesn’t get done. My girlfriend notices I’m running low on toothpaste and bought me some. Normally that might be something my mother did when I lived at home. An interesting replacement. The bottom line is this, it is healthy to replace your parents with your spouse. It is a normal thing that most people go through, and is possibly the hardest transition of your life, but also a welcome one.

The word “cling” is more often used in a negative context than in a positive. “If we don’t get the respect or love from our spouse that we think we’re entitled to, we start to cling to them for it, by any means possible. We might complain, nag, yell, scream, clam up, and become resentful. The truth is, the more we cling to our spouse for happiness and try and control them through our neediness, the more they will back off from us, and the more desperate we will become.” (Ezine)

The transition might be as simple as this.