Migs and Alaine

Chronicles of a Happy Married Life

How Leaving and Cleaving Saved our Marriage

We attended a Marriage Preparations Seminar before we got married. One of the best topics that was discussed in the Seminar was “Leaving and Cleaving”. This is one of the things that some Filipinos do not practice because we have this culture of being too generous when it comes to family members that we don’t mind sharing our own house with them – we even gave a name to this kind of culture…extended family.

I grew-up in a household where we welcome some relatives to live with us for a period of time (years) while they are studying or looking for a new job. It was fun because I was the youngest then so, I don’t really have a specific chore to do at home. I get all the help that I need aside from the helper that my parents hire, people at home are always there for me. But things got a little tougher when I reached puberty. I started hating a lot of things and sometimes the people around me. I am no longer comfortable sharing some of our things at home.

When my sisters got married, none of them were allowed to live with us because our parents are teaching us to be responsible. They wanted us to be able to experience living on our own.

In my case – I was already independent when I reached the age of 21. I have my own place and a job. So, leaving and cleaving will never be an issue for me. I learned to be independent even before I got married.

When it was my turn to get married (I was 28 then), we were already prepared to start a new life together. We were able to save money for a beautiful Wedding. We refused to accept financial help from any relative because we want to have the liberty of inviting only those who are really close to us.

Two years after our Marriage (when we were about to buy a house), I received an SMS from my mother, telling me about their predicament. There were times when they feel scared to leave the house especially at night because we do not have neighbors. She is also diabetic and she’s afraid that no one will look after her in case she needs some medical attention.

In short, she was able to convince me to move in with my husband. What seems to be temporary almost changed our lives when they offered us to buy the house so they could leave the City and start a new to their retirement home in the South. It was smooth sailing at first but when my other sibling expressed her interest for our house, the issues started to rise. It was difficult and I felt that I was also hurting my husband – he couldn’t move freely at our home.

When we received the approval from the bank for the housing loan, I told my husband that we should think really hard if we’re going to purchase the house. conflicts may arise, because my older sister wants a piece of that cake for free. On the second day of the approval, I told my parents that we decided to just leave and purchase a different house. They were okay with our decision since my youngest brother already came home – someone will already look after their welfare.

We would have honestly saved a chunk of money if we purchased the house from my parents. Considering the value of land nowadays, it was a steal.  Plus, I know every corners of that house since I was a little girl. But, I had to decide to let it go because I value my Marriage. We had to leave before misunderstandings become ugly.

My Mother died the same year. I was the closest daughter to her. I guess, leaving our house prepared me to face such a depressing moment. I don’t have to deal coming home to the same house with all the memories. I wouldn’t have to deal with waking up every morning at the same house where I spent 21 years with her. It will be very difficult to move on.

Leaving our house and cleaving to my husband made me stronger. We’ve been through a lot and we always have each other’s back. Who cares if it might take some more years for us to save up for our dream house? We were able to save our marriage. It is nice to wake up wearing whatever clothes I want at home without having someone comment on how short my shorts are. I can scatter things at my working table as long as I want and no one will ever question why I allow three cats to sleep on our bed.

We chose to live the life as husband and wife – where I am the only queen and he is the only king of our own little kingdom.

Leaving and cleaving is not only for the rich but it’s for the brave couples who can promise to stick together for better or for worse.



  1. I am not yet married (still hoping for that perfect match to come ? ) but the same things were instilled in us by our parents. I left home when I was 20 and moved from Baguio to Manila for work. I learned what is means to be independent, how to be responsible and all those grown up stuff that adults are expected to do. I don’t intend to live with my mom or in-laws when I start my own family and I do believe that the man I will marry will want the same. ?

  2. I grew up living with my grandmother and relatives because my mom needs to work abroad so I know how it feels na nakikisama ka palagi so when I got married, we got our own place. I’m the queen of the house. 🙂

  3. The principle of leaving and cleaving has always been true, specially in the bible times. It was God’s rule to couples. Although I’m not against extended families, they’re really fun, but yes, I have to agree that sometimes, they can also cause problems.

  4. Relationships flourish more if you only have each others to lean on. My youngest was hospitalized and admitted to am ICU at 5 months old for 3 months. We only had one another during those difficult times. I would say, that experience has bounded us together as husband and wife… it has also made us stronger as a family.

  5. This is a nice article for couples… God said leave and cleave and we must obey..

  6. It is really way better if you live alone as a family. Any addition of relative to it can make a huge difference. It’s really hard to move when another person outside the family lives with you. Can’t just move properly. 🙂

  7. This made me smile. Though I was a bit sad for reading the part when your mother died. 🙁 But leaving and cleaving is so true! I know a lot of stories, even in my family’s side, where problems arise because they used to live under the roof my grandfather and grandmother’s home. It was a disaster. There are daily arguments of siblings and inlaws. It only got better when everybody else have decided to get their own places na. Medyo malungkto lang din on the parent’s side talaga when you’re son or daughter is about to leave you, but that’s how it should be talaga. I am happy to say that my husband and I got a small place of our own ever since we got married because he also doesn’t want us to live in our his or my parent’s home. He really insisted and persisted that we get our own place. Mahirap at first, pero mas comfortable. 🙂

  8. My parents instill the same value to me even before I got married – to leave and cleave. It’s a way of respect to my husband that he will be able to take care of me. And besides, a house cannot have 2 queens.

  9. There was a time when we experienced living with relatives in the early years of our marriage, but we eventually moved out and settled in our very own home. Now, we’re living in our second home near my husband’s office and my son’s school. It’s small but we’re content with it because we can live the way we want.

  10. This is really true. I’m currently living with my family. Though I’m still not married and has a child I’m already having thoughts of actually living on our own with my son. Sometimes I think that maybe I can’t make it. Sometimes I am convincing myself that I really have to. It does not always look good living with your family especially if you already have your own. But it’s a need. We will always get there, ready or not.

  11. My family is now living with my husband’s family. At first, it was tough for me to adjust but looking at it in a positive light and thinking about the welfare of our kids made me realize that we’re doing it for our family. We have plans of moving out but not anytime soon, hehe.

  12. I live with my parentals and I agree dun sa nahihirapan talaga ang husband na kumilos. Well, di pa namin kaya kasi kaya tiis tiis muna. More than financial, it’s the fact na mas panatag kami iwan ang anak namin with my parents kesa sa yaya. Yun talaga eh.

  13. This is true. I am actually still living with my parents despite owning a lot already because I’m not yet married and my partner works abroad and wouldn’t want me to live alone. But when we get married we’ll move to our own place, that’s for sure!

  14. When I got married, we bought a lot and slowly built a house. My mother was with us as I am the only daughter she has. Turned out, the husband and mom would sometimes have misunderstanding. That’s when we left our house and rented near it. My relationship with my mother improved as well as I am able to discipline my boys the way I would want it. My husband too can now move freely and decide as a father of the house.

  15. I agree, it is not for the rich couples lang, palagi syang part ng marriage seminar to “leave and cleave”, and may blessing talaga when we obey this command. I agree with freedom to move inside your own house, open communication line with your spouse and plus the opportunity to build new memories with your own family 🙂

  16. Thank you for sharing this. I believe that independence can really affect marriages. At the end of the day, it will all be about you and your spouse and nobody else.

  17. We’re not technically living with my in-laws but we’re in the same compound. I wanna get our own place though because I do believe in leaving and cleaving. I hope we’ll be able to move out by next year.

  18. I agree. Having a lot of people around in your immediate vicinity almost always has negative effects.

  19. As much as I wanted to leave the house, I can’t as of the moment because no one will look after my son. Looking for a trusted yaya now a days is so hard hindi ko kaya ipagkatwala anak ko sa iba. And at the same time my son brings the happiness and joy in my parents life they are both seniors na ang hirap alisin kaligayahan nila.

  20. It’s really better to live under your own house than living with others. We used to be on our own after we got married. A few years later though, we moved in with the in laws. It’s a lot tougher and there really is less freedom to move and make decisions.

  21. Without loving my family before getting married any less, I have always believed that it would be better for all of us to live separately once we have our own families. Many families living together usually creates contempt as each would like to be able make their own decisions.

  22. I agree mommy. Before I got married, my husband and I decided to rent on our own. Yan din kasi sabi nung nag marriage seminar kami. Mahira sa umpisa but we really enjoyed it. And now we already have our own house, mahirap kasi nakikitira.

  23. My husband worked overseas for 4 years before we were able to be approved for a housing loan and purchased a home. Now we are living indepently and we are loving it.

  24. We practiced this early on and marrying young at just 19 it was scary and tough but a good decision. You won’t really be able to grow your own family unless you have full say and control of the situation.

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