Are in-laws bad or are they just getting a bad rap? Many times, what seems like issues with your in-laws are just misunderstandings. You see, when you first get married, everyone is learning their new role – you, your spouse and your in-laws too. You are not the only one that will have to make adjustments for this new family dynamic.
For instance, if your parents are used to having a big say in what you do and don’t do, this will have to change after you get married. If they are used to voicing their opinion and expect you to follow their way of doing things, those ties should be cut.
On the other hand, there are things that in-laws do to express their love, that can be misunderstood by us. For example, when our first child was born we were a military family, stationed away from home. Well, my mother is a giver. It was nothing for a delivery truck to show up in front of our home and deliver everything from baby furniture to clothes.
This used to make my husband hot. He would feel like – Does she think I can’t buy things for my own family, am I not capable of providing for them? Then a light bulb went off in his head. He realized this brought my mom joy. I wasn’t asking for things, she just enjoyed giving. This was a win-win situation. My mom was excited to be a blessing to our family and as a young couple we saved money not having to buy certain items.
Now, let’s look at another example from a woman’s perspective. After my husband left the military, we moved back to our hometown. We both needed to work full-time. Our kids were little and produced a mountain of dirty laundry. It would stack up sky high. My mother-in-law noticed. So what happened next should sound like a good thing. However, it wasn’t to a young mom who was doing her best.
You see, I would come home and all of the laundry would be washed and folded. Issue or misunderstanding? It took me a while to realize the same thing my husband had realized. My mother-in-law was a help. She saw I was in over my head. It was not an issue but a misunderstanding. This was another win-win situation. I had never worked full time with little kids. Any my mother-in-law saw I needed help and provided it.
Issues are often misunderstandings. When situations are looked at from a new perspective, things can be seen in a better light. What seemed like an intrusion on first glance turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Who doesn’t enjoy a blessing?
Family is that blessing. It takes time to settle into the roles of couple and in-laws. That mother has never shared her son or daughter with anyone to the degree that is now demanded of her. That father who coached his child through every decision must step aside and now watch his son or daughter step into the role of coach with a family of his own.
I have been a daughter-in-law for 29 years and a mother-in-law for a mere 35 days. My hope for you and for me is that issues and misunderstandings are kept to a minimum, while love is kept on maximum.
BMWK – can you think of instances where your in-laws could use the benefit of the doubt.
like what you're reading?