Leaving and Cleaving and Divorce

Leave and Cleave

Leaving and cleaving and divorce

Opinion, NOT Legal Advice

Preamble: If you are visiting my website, you are reading my personal thoughts.  That’s all they are: thoughts and opinions.  They should NOT be used against anyone, in a court of law or anywhere.

Couples Who Don’t Leave and Cleave Prone to Divorce

Here are my observations from 23+ years of witnessing broken marriages.   Couples who aren’t adhering to the leave and cleave theory are much, much more susceptible to divorce.  “Leave and cleave” comes from Genesis 2:24, in the King James Version, which states, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

Leaving and cleaving refers to leaving your old family unit (your mother and father) to form and to attach (cleave) to your new partner to form a new family.  This is extremely difficult.  I know, because I also went through it.  The first few years of marriage, especially that after child birth, are pure hell.  Primary reason is lack of sleep.  Scientifically.  

Honor Your In-Laws

By the way, do NOT interpret this article as hating in-laws.  NO.  You have to absolutely honor and respect all elders.  Your spouse’s parents are now YOUR parents.  They are now the grandparents of your children.  No matter how bossy, racist, condescending, uneducated, or vile they are!

I recently encountered a miserable person in a custody battle who snidely commented, “Grandparents have no legal rights.”   You will always meet someone like that who is so bitter and angry that they are destroying their own children and don’t care!  It’s sad that these people are even parents as they lack the proper ingredient (maturity).

Respect Your In-Laws

Respect your in-laws.  That is rule #1.

How do you properly leave and cleave such that you can protect your marriage?

Leave everyone out of you and your spouse’s problems.

Do NOT involve your family in your lovers’ spats.  Your family will side with you, no matter what.

Even if you FATHERED a child outside of your marriage, your mommy will side with you.

Even if you murdered your husband’s dog, your mommy will side with you.


Because they failed at leave and cleave too.

It is maternal to side with your own.  Do not discuss your personal problems with your family.  Incidentally, some people go beyond violating this during the marriage, and it continues in divorce.  Parents who pay for and run their children’s divorce, I have 2 words for you: PLEASE STOP.  It does not help.  I do NOT speak with parents or siblings of my client.  My CLIENT is who I need to talk to.  (no matter who is paying).  If you need money for your divorce, yes, you can borrow it from your parents!  but it’s YOUR divorce  – not theirs, and they should not be hounding/hoarding your divorce lawyer.  Paying for your child’s divorce doesn’t make you a client.  Your marital problems are YOURS.  Not theirs.  Own it.  Grow up!

Establish boundaries.

Healthy boundaries yield respect.  I have heard that some couples allow living with in-laws due to childcare, finances, etc.  It is very important that you and your spouse discuss this prior to you making a decision.  Whatever decision YOU make, it affects your spouse.  Especially when it concerns the in-laws.  Do NOT sign up for a 1-week family vacation without consulting with your spouse.  Do NOT move in with your in-laws without first discussing it with your spouse.  If you are the in-law, do NOT videotape your son-in-law or daughter-in-law while in their house.  If you are the in-law, respect your son or daughter in law.  This is the person your CHILD chose.  Let them know you love them, but for their own good, you must refrain from passing judgment or giving advice.

Money matters.  Yes, money matters!!

To leave and cleave, you must be able to survive on your own – you and your spouse – without the interference of anyone’s parents.  If you have an inheritance, great – this does not apply to you.  I am talking about the couples who continually live BEYOND their means, thus necessitating the parents to step in and save them.  Money = control.  If you are still being controlled by your parents over money, you are not leaving and cleaving.  Live within your own means, become financially independent.

Marriage requires maturity.

How do you know if you’re immature?  Simple.  When your daily song is “me, me, me”, that’s a sign you’re immature.  Like the example of the angry bitter person, “I hate her parents. They have no rights!”  That is immature.  “I am not taking any trips with your family.”  Again, immature.  “You are immature!”  That also is immature.  Stop focusing on YOU.  Marriage requires two.

Incidentally, if your marriage doesn’t work out, divorce like a grown-up.

Finally, leaving and cleaving means recognizing you are on the SAME TEAM.

That is right.  When you marry, you will share things, such as last names, a home, a bank account, pets and children.  You are on the same team while you’re married.  And if you have children, you are on the same team FOREVER.  When that little girl gets married, you and your ex are sitting on the same side – the bride’s side.  When that little boy graduates, you will be at his graduation together, on the same side, with the same in-laws, aunts uncles.  Family is forever.

Marriage isn’t easy, my friends.  It’s why divorce lawyers are in business.

Please take care of the foundation of your marriage, and stay out of my office.

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