When Your Children Marry: How Marriage Changes Relationships with Sons and Daughters

When Your Children Marry: How Marriage Changes Relationships with Sons and Daughters

by Deborah M. Merrill Clark University

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Marriage is an important transition in the life of any adult who marries. But often when a son or daughter gets married, their relationships with their natal families changes. It is often said that a 'daughter is a daughter all of her life, but a son is a son 'til he takes him a wife.' This book examines how marriage changes relationships between adult children and their parents and how this differs for sons versus daughters. Merrill considers the process by which men 'get pulled into' their wives' families and the ways in which men are sometimes more connected to their wives' families following marriage than to their own families. But what is it about a relationship with a son that changes when he marries? And why do daughters tend to stay closer? Why do mothers experience greater difficulty in negotiating relationships with married sons than with married daughters? Why do daughters tend to stay closer and maintain stronger ties to their natal families than sons do? This book answers these questions and offers advice for mothers on how to maintain strong ties with their children when they marry, negotiate relationships that may be fraught with new challenges, and accept changes when they happen. Sharing firsthand accounts from mothers, sons, and daughters, the author sheds new light on this neglected topic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781442210943
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 05/05/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 184
File size: 604 KB

About the Author

Deborah M. Merrill is associate professor of sociology at Clark University. She is the author of Mothers-in-Law and Daughters-in-Law: Understanding the Relationship and What Makes Them Friends or Foe and Caring for Elderly Parents: Juggling Work, Family, and Care Giving in Middle And Working Class Families.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Illustrations of Intergenerational Relationships
Chapter 3: Relationships Between Parents and Adult Children
Chapter 4: Gender Differences in Contact with Parents and In-Laws: Do Couples See More of Her Family Than His?

Chapter 5: "A Daughter is a Daughter All of Her Life, But a Son is a Son "Til He Takes Him a Wife:" Myth or Reality?
Chapter 6: The Effect of Marriage on Intergenerational Relationships
Chapter 7: The Challenges for Mothers in Parent and Adult Child Relationships
Chapter 8: The Evolution of Intergenerational Relationships Following Children's Marriages
Chapter 9: Divorce and Later Life Families
Chapter 10: Advice to Mothers for Maintaining Intergenerational Relationships
Chapter 11: Reciprocal Effects? How do Intergenerational Relationships Affect Adult Children's Marriages?
Chapter 12: Conclusion
Appendix 1: Methodology
Appendix 2: Interview Guidelines

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