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  • Writer's pictureAndi


At the tip of South Africa (Cape Argulus) the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. The Atlantic Ocean is freezing, and the Indian Ocean is warm. Both oceans support sea life unique to the temperature.

As I look at the picture of the two signs and merging of these two oceans behind the wall, I think of my children who are getting to the ages where they are becoming interested in living with a partner. When relationships get to this level, it’s not unusual for the two families to meet each other. Each family is like an ocean with generations of thoughts, beliefs, and unique parenting. Like the 2 oceans no two families can possibly be the same, but their core values would likely be similar for the relationship to grow to a more serious level.

In marriage, the message is “when two become one”, I do not think this is correct! I believe it should be “when two become three”. Each person must retain their full identity and have their union as a third unit which is like the 2 oceans that merge at the meeting point. However, each ocean still maintains its own water temperature because of their separate currents which can be compared to our emotional moods.

For parents with adult children: If your children are at this stage, we have had our turn to choose how to live with (or without) our partners. It’s now up to our children to decide how they are going to manage their third unit together. This can be a stressful time as each family is used to being sovereign and making unilateral decisions regarding their child. As parents, we should support our children in all their endeavors and not undermine their choices, as this only adds stress to them individually and as a couple. Accept the other family’s way of doing things even if it’s not your way. Remember they must have done something right to raise the person your child has chosen to share their time with.

For a successful union, each partner needs to revere the other as they are and not try to change them into who they want them to be. If we fully accept ourselves as we are and our partners for who they are, this will naturally create a very solid 3rd unit. If the warm Indian ocean and freezing Atlantic Ocean blended into one temperature, the sea life thriving in each environment would die out. A lose-lose for both oceans! However, like where the oceans merge, compromises are important if neither gives up who they are. A young adult that was taught self-love as a child, will not allow themselves to die out and will make the necessary choices to maintain their best self.

For parents of younger children: Teach your children self-love and to only accept what is best for them in all aspects of their life including creating their friend group, which will sculpt their choices for future relationships and their professional careers. This does not happen overnight and will save them years of suffering.

If you or your family is blending with a partner or their family, and there are struggles, I can help with a Do Over to ease this time of transition.


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