As you build a life together, it will probably become clear you were raised differently. While family of origin or “in-law” issues are commonly cited for many couples, your differences in upbringing can also make your relationship richer!

For instance, if you and your spouse grew up celebrating important days and festivities differently, it poses an opportunity to fuse some of the best traditions and norms from each of your families as you form your own family unit together.

Here’s an activity you can try with your spouse (refer to the Speaker-Listener Technique posts linked below to help you structure the conversation):

  • Discuss which traditions or festivities were most important or memorable for each of you growing up, and why? (consider your favorite foods, activities, gatherings/celebrations, significant people, important places, etc.)

  • Which family traditions are you each comfortable setting aside in your adult life because they do not carry as much meaning or significance for you?

Action Plan: After you share which traditions and festivities you each hope to carry forward in your married life, really focus on meeting at least one of your spouse’s expectations around traditions and special experiences. How do you spend a major festivity with your parents/in-laws? How will you split your time, and what roles are you expected to play? Or, do you create a new tradition?

As you transition from your families of origin into your own family unit, you have the chance to marry your backgrounds. While it’s not an effortless process, it’s a unique opportunity to blend the beauty of the past with the promise of the present as you create new memories and traditions together.

Check out other mini marriage PREP tips here!