My father told me that being married is a never ending adjustment. Well it’s absolutely true, and I think being married is also a lifetime learning process. So when I saw this article “Leave and Cleave” I knew I have to share it. But what really caught my attention are the two people giving their insight about this topic, Richard and his wife Maricar a newlywed (2013).

Richard poon Maricar Reyes (4)
Photo: Relationship Matters

These two has a rich love story behind them, but for now let’s focus on Richard’s perception on the subject “Leave and Cleave”. But before we continue, Richard Poon is a Chinese Filipino singer-songwriter and TV personality in the Philippines. He is a former member of the band U-Turn. He is married to Maricar Reyes. They were married on June 9, 2013 at the Bellevue Hotel in Alabang, Muntinlupa City.

To all newlyweds and married couples struggling in their relationship better read this carefully and you might learn a lot from Richard.
Photo: Relationship Matters


One afternoon, I heard a story of a lovely mother telling us how she and her husband fell “out of love”.

She said their first 10 years of marriage were good when they were still living abroad together. Trouble started when they moved back to the Philippines to live in a house RIGHT BESIDE her husband’s parent’s home.

From there it was downhill. Having her husband’s family so close invited a shower of frequent criticism over her style of parenting (from the amount of her kid’s allowance, to how she should discipline them).

Now I understand why chinky-eyed Dennis Sy,(the man who married Maricar and I), taught this “LEAVE and CLEAVE seriously during our “engagement seminar”.

Richard poon Maricar Reyes 7
Photo: Relationship Matters

Dennis read from the engagement manual, “Therefore a man shall LEAVE his father and mother and shall be joined (CLEAVE) to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”

This sentence has 3 parts:


This means there are 2 types of relationships.

The PERMANENT relationship is the HUSBAND-WIFE. The TEMPORARY relationship is the PARENT-CHILD.

Problems occur when these 2 roles are REVERSED and the PARENT-CHILD relationship is treated as the PRIMARY relationship. (In other words, the parent of the husband gets priority over his own wife, or vice versa)

To leave also means EMOTIONALLY, FINANCIALLY, and PHYSICALLY detach. Some may have left the family home physically, but remained emotionally and financially bound to the family, which creates a lot of resentment within the spouse.


The Hebrew translation means:to PURSUE HARD AFTER SOMEONE/ being GLUED or STUCK TO SOMEONE.

This cleaving implies that there should be NO CLOSER relationship than HUSBAND & WIFE, not with any FRIEND or PARENT.


When a husband or wife receives GREATER emotional support from the parents, RATHER THAN THE SPOUSE, ONENESS in a lot of areas of decision-making within the marriage is difficult.

Honestly, I never wanted to leave the family home. It was very comfortable and most things were paid by my parents. But now looking back, I realize LEAVING the family home, ALTHOUGH VERY PAINFUL, changed me in ways I  could not have experienced had I stayed. Here are some of the rewards of “leave and cleave”:

Photo: Relationship Matters


I learned more RESPONSIBILITY when I ran away from home. No dad or mom to save your butt. When I committed mistakes, there was no one else to blame and I had to OWN UP to the consequences.

Oppositely, if a man always has his parents to bail him out, his leadership of his own family becomes dependent on his parents. The saying is true: “He that PAYS THE RENT, MAKES THE RULES.” It’s sad for a family to be led by the in-laws.

Maricar and I enjoy making our own family guidelines that may not have to be same as our parents’.


Our mentors remind us, your marriage vow to God is to keep your wife TOP PRIORITY. If you secure her this way, she will be your NO.1 SUPPORTER, no matter how difficult your road.

But if a wife feels her “In-Laws” are the priority of her husband, she then, can turn into your WORST ENEMY.


If I stayed in our family home/business, I believe I NEVER would have ended up doing WORK THAT I LOVED. I would have ended up very resentful.

Many have not “found” their destiny because they are afraid and STILL COMFORTABLE, hiding under the family’s shadow.

Conversely, many who took that scary step out are reaping something miraculous that was NEVER THOUGHT POSSIBLE in the family home. Nobody thought I’d end up singing. Not even me. But I discovered it when I left the nest.

How about you? Are you willing to leave and cleave to strengthen your family relationship & find your own unique road?

Part 2:

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