“Meet the Parents” is a movie that looks at learning to accept and be accepted by future in-laws. The movie is funny at times, awkward at times and down right painful at times. Hopefully your experience with in-laws has been better.
When my wife and I announced to her parents we were getting married, (yeah, I know…we should have asked rather than announce) they were not overjoyed. My wife was the last child to leave the nest, and the person taking her from the nest was a long haired musician who had only recently secured a stable job. On top of that, this recently secured job was going to take their daughter six hundred miles from home. Needless to say, there was some tension.
In hind sight, I don’t know what I was thinking when I got married. I knew I would be getting in-laws, but I didn’t think it would be a big deal. OK, I know that was naive but give me a break. I was only 21 when I got married. I’m older and wiser now, and I have the scars to prove it.)
In-laws play an inescapable part of marriage. Someone once told me, “When a couple gets married and climbs into bed on their honeymoon night, there are actually six people in the bed…the husband, the wife, the husband’s parents, and the wife’s parents. (Try getting that picture out of your head.) And if one or both spouses have parents who are divorced, the bed gets even more crowded. (Ok. I’ll stop with that word picture now.)
Stop for a minute and answer these two questions:
- What’s the best thing about my in-laws?
- What’s the most difficult thing about my in-laws?
There will be both good things and difficult things about your in-laws, and you have to learn to embrace both. Notice I said “learn.” It doesn’t always come naturally, but you can learn how to better live with your in-laws.
In up-coming posts we’re going to look at how to better live with your in-laws. I don’t have all the answers, but after 34 years I do have personal experience on what not to do. And now that I’m a father-in-law myself, I have a much broader perspective on this in-law thing. So tune into future post and well see if we can figure out how to better live with your in-laws.
Join the conversation. What has been the most difficult thing about relating to your in-laws and what have you found to be helpful. (Remember…be kind.)
Copyright © 2014 Bret Legg