"4 Things your spouse wants to say about your IN-LAWS" - 2012/12/05 - KL pending
Nothing seems to cause as much friction in marriage than issues related to in-laws. You may fall into the category of exception and enjoy the blessing of a good relationship with your in-laws, as I do; but, those situations are few and far between and usually come after significant work has been done to bring those relationships to a healthy place. If any of the statements below relate to your specific situation, I encourage you to share it with your spouse. Feel free to simply read this post to your spouse if needed.
4 Things your spouse wants to say about your IN-LAWS:
1. They are my parents but I am NOT responsible for everything they say or do.
I know my parents give you heartburn from time to time, maybe all the time. I often feel responsible for them since I represent them in our marriage. But the reality, is I can't control them. They don't consult me on their choices. I would love for you to see me separate from the bad, inconsiderate, offensive or annoying choices they make.
2. I love my parents, so my default is to defend them.
I never mean for this to appear like I'm choosing them over you. I realize that sometimes I do. I came to marriage very loyal to them, and I'm still learning how not to be defensive when they get on your nerves. I love them, and I love you. I just want peace and do NOT want to feel like I'm caught in the middle between you and them. I married you, so it is my commitment to put YOU above everyone in life including, my parents; I just might need some patience along the way.
3. Sometimes I agree with you about my parents, but I'm afraid to say it.
I know sometimes I just don't see the dysfunction you see. What is obvious to you is a blind spot for me with my parents. I grew up with them and they are normal to me. The older I've gotten and the longer we've been together, I have started to see some of what you are talking about. In fact, I agree most of the time, but I'm afraid that agreeing will send you careening down a path to excommunicate them from our lives. I still want to have a good relationship with them, even with all their issues.
4. When you take interest in my parents (or siblings), it makes me feel more loved and understood.
It may sound weird, but when you take interest in my parents, I feel like you are on a quest to learn more about me. It makes me feel honored and valued. So much of my identity was shaped by them, for better or worse. I don't expect you to be best friends with my parents, but it would bring great peace into my life to know you can be comfortable, cordial and maybe even learn to enjoy time with them.
I hope this make sense. If you are an IN-LAW be aware of the challenges your involvement presents. Perhaps you can see ways to improve your part of the relationship. A marriage is the start of a new family and our "old" family (i.e. parents/siblings) also have to learn new ways to relate. Old dogs must learn new tricks to have God-honoring relationships.
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