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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My In-Laws Hate Me! {Wedded Wednesday / 3D Lessons 4 Life / The Weekend Brew)

Of course they hate you. What did you expect?

By marrying their son or daughter, you changed their lives. You took a beloved family member out of their orbit, and put him or her in yours.

And you will never be good enough...only someone they selected could be...and even, probably not.

Their lives will never be the same; even if they did not really appreciate said son or daughter...they appreciate the loss.

So...what to do?

There are a couple of things. They may not change the situation, but they might make it more livable for you.

  • YOU can't make them like you. You can only be yourself, treating both their 'stolen person' and them with courtesy and compassion. It's up to them, at that point.
  • You can't separate your spouse from his or her family. She knew them for probably a couple of decades before she knew you. They have an advantage in familiarity...or assumed familiarity...that you'll never have.
  • In a showdown, you'll lose...even if you 'win'. Don't look for a showdown. Never make it "them or me".
  • You can live with honour and clarity, looking at them as how they see themselves...victims, and gatekeepers. if you can see things from their point of view, you can at least learn not to respond to the more vicious digs.
  • You can realize that your spouse is torn in his or her loyalties...yes, the Bible says that we should leave our original families behind, but it's easier said than done. The hooks are set deep.
  • You can choose to rise above the pettiness. You can choose to relate from a place of honour. You can let the insults lie. You can let the snide comments wither.
  • You can choose to love, regardless, because these are the people who made the love of your life what he or she IS.
You can take the moral; high ground. If this were a Hallmark card, this is where i would be saying you'll win them over.

But it's not. This is real life.

You may win them over. You may not. You can only extend the olive branch.

But you can always understand.

You can always have compassion.

You can always love.

We're linked to 3D Lessons 4 Life, and The Weekend Brew.

This post is linked to Wedded Wednesday, a compendium of really cool posts on marriage. If you click on the logo below, you'll be taken to www.messymarriage.com, which is the springboard to a wealth of information. It's run by Beth Steffaniak, who has a heart for marriage and a soul for God!



8 comments:

  1. Great thoughts, Andrew. I'm going to have my son read this, since his fiance's father isn't super excited about her getting married. It's not about my son. It's just that he has this incredible connection with his daughter and is struggling to let go. But so far our son has been patient and communicative with her dad and this has smoothed the waters a bit. But I do envision that this problem will not be solved in a day! Thanks for your wisdom, my friend!

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    1. Letting go can be so hard for a parent, and that difficulty really adds a bias that becomes a self-justifying circle. I've seen it happen, all too often.

      Your son sounds like he's dealing with it with respect and maturity...and it won't be solved in a day, but there's surely hope in his approach.

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  2. Good wisdom here :). The inlaw situation is one that requires lots of grace! And as we tell our kids "the only person you can control is yourself"

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    1. "the only person you can control is yourself."

      Exactly right, just perfect!

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  3. These are good observations and practices. Relationships are hard. And you are right: changing our perspective to see things from their side is important. (I know I will struggle to let go of my kids when they get married!) Thanks for these reminders!
    (Visiting from Thought Provoking Thursday)

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    1. Dana, thank you...and yes, relationships are hard; the hardest thing we face in life.

      We tend to think they're easy when we don't give them the care they deserve, but it's like a good aerobatic act at an airshow...the flying looks smooth, effortless, and graceful only because the pilot is working all the time, making small control inputs and corrections...and THAT based on years of experience.

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  4. Lori and I have thought about what kind of in-laws we wanted to be - or more accurately what kind we did NOT want to be.
    Fortunately our son made it easy, marrying a wonderful young lady who is perfect FOR HIM, which is the point. He is better for being with her, which makes her wonderful in our eyes. I think we'd do well regardless, but it's nice it's so easy!

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    1. Paul, a huge part of it being easy is the mature, robust, and compassionate attitude that you and Lori share.

      You guys are wonderful...the best kind of parents a kid could have.

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