Having an in-law move in with a couple and help participate in the raising of the children can be very stressful, says family and marriage therapist Dr. Philip Dembo. Could this have harmed Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony’s relationship?
A new report claims Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony started having trouble in their marriage when Jennifer’s mother Guadalupe moved in with them after the birth of their children, Max and Emme, in 2008. “It’s common in the Latin culture for the extended family to get involved and help raise the kids,” Dr. Philip Dembo explains. “It’s not surprising at all that Jennifer Lopez’s mother moved in with her and Marc Anthony right after the twins were born.”
“Jennifer’s mother is obviously there to help, but when you have three bosses raising the kids when you should only have two, this can lead to ‘triangulation’, ” Dr. Dembo explains. “There’s too many cooks in the kitchen!”
Dr. Dembo also adds that Guadalupe could have easily become involved with Jennifer and Marc’s relationship. “It’s very difficult for a grandparent, like Jennifer’s mom Guadalupe, not to also parent the adults [in addition to the grandchildren]… meaning both her daughter Jennifer and her son-in-law Marc. It begins to feel like a strangulation, that’s why it’s called ‘triangulation‘”.
“In the Latin culture, extended family is highly respected,” Dr. Dembo says. “It’s a matriarchal society, so the mother, in this case Guadalupe is a very powerful person and is very involved with what goes on in the family. Of course, Jennifer and Marc have nannies, but in the Latin community, a family member, not a nanny, has the main influence on the kids.”
“Having twins is stressful, having an in-law move in is stressful and of course helpful, but you add this up and it creates an enormous amount of tension in the household.”
No doubt Jennifer’s mom is her biggest confidante and most likely took on the role of Jennifer’s personal therapist.
Do you think JLo’s mom caused more damage to the marriage or did she help Jennifer see the truth about her roller coaster relationship with Marc Anthony?