Values and norms
In all instances the couple brings with them into the relationship various values and norms.
Values can best be described as “Important and lasting beliefs or ideals shared by the members of a culture about what is good or bad and desirable or undesirable.” i.e. sex before marriage. These values are ingrained in the person’s mind as it has been kept in their family since birth and taught in early childhood and adulthood.
Norms are those things that are accepted as having become normal because of the widespread practice that takes place. i.e. couples staying together before they get married.
The partners in the relationship can have different values and norms which can cause tension in the relationship. This is especially true if the partners come from different cultures or even at times tribes.
As is true in all cases in relationships and marriages compromise is always needed. If both partners stick to their guns and refuse to compromise then they are heading for danger in the relationship.
There is a need to discuss and come to a decision which values are going to be kept in the new family. It is possible that some of the values of one of the partners have become a norm while the other partner holds the value as very dear to them.
When discussing values and norms there must never be a situation where one person is belittled because of what they have been led to accept as important. Each partner needs to be aware of how the other feels and how important the value is to them, and if they are willing to set it aside for the sake of peace in the home.
Values are not set in stone and if not complied with or kept to there is nothing terrible that will happen.
What is important is that the love between the two partners is not severed because one is not willing to compromise or give up a value for the sake of harmony.
Remember that when you form your own family there will be new family values that will become important to you and your children.