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.
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!