I realized the other day that I haven't talked about in-laws, like at all, except for a mention or two in passing. But any married human being knows that in-laws are some of the most important people in your life, for better or for worse! I happen to be a lucky person in that my in-laws are definitely for “better.”
That’s right: love my in-laws--I think damn-near every one of them, actually. In that regard I might be more an exception than a rule because there seems to be a pervasive stereotype of the spouse who hates his or her in-laws. So I was thinking about this, and how to put it into a blog post that people could use.
Many times, I like to think of solutions to problems. This is not one of those days. In fact, today I am going to provide you something I rarely get to provide and that is a lead by example moment. My moment? In-laws and how they should behave or be involved your life. Sure, my family and I have had our moments that weren’t so stellar, but our current picture is one to emulate.
Allow me to elaborate...
We Share Holidays
You know what makes me the luckiest girl in the world? Not choosing. It is a luxury that I am provided because my family and my husband’s family really and genuinely like one another. We spend holidays together--all of us.
This is not unique in my husband’s family. This is something they just do because his parents started it together with their own families. And since I am from a divorced family and we exclusively hang out with people we like, well, this fit together perfectly. My advice? Get your families together right off the bat and watch the sparks fly!
I know who to go to
I don’t go to my mother to bitch about my husband... I go to his mother. Sounds crazy, but you know why I do it? Because my husband’s mother loves him no matter what. No. Matter. What. Mine loves me no matter what, and I expect no less from her. If I go bitching in a serious way to my own family, they will make me more angry. Guaranteed. If I bitch to his family.... what happens? I get the best advice EVER from a person invested in his happiness AND mine.
It might sound a little wild, but it works. Obviously this wouldn’t work entirely well unless I had a good relationship with Daren’s mom, but I have, and it took many years. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither are relationships. Also, I have a pretty good filter.
Big Issues Are a Family Matter
If you think that your marriage isn’t important to other people, think again. No one likes to see a marriage fail; it’s ugly and dirty and all kinds of backstabbing. When it comes to keeping a marriage together, sometimes there are rough times, and when they come a-calling, sometimes you need family to surround you. I am not afraid to make that call, nor am I afraid to answer it!
My husband came with two sisters, which for me was like winning the sister lottery. They are twins, and they are cool, and they are also my age. At first one of them didn’t like me, but I won her over with my charm.
Now they are the answer to my sister-less existence. I have sisters, two of them, and it rocks hard. It’s funny because I know that they are twins, but I sort of feel like now we are triplets. I try to stay out of the middle of them, but I feel like they are the flip sides of my three-sided coin and I can't imagine my life without them.
Sarah, Laura, and now Billie Criswell are happy to confuse you as to who is twins with whom and at what time... am I right ladies?
In the perfect world, an in law should really feel like family you haven’t met yet. The mothers are yours, the family gathers without question, and the sisters are instantly all “sistery.” Families are the people who can’t wait to see, the ones holidays are made for, and the ones you call upon whenever you need them.
Extended family and your in-laws should feel as dear to you as your family because once you are married, well, welcome to the club, for better or worse. This is the one life lottery I really aced. Not everyone is as lucky as I am in this department. If you aren’t know that there are always ways to improve your relationships, but the best you can do with your nuclear family is to teach them well to be good friends and by extension, hopefully, good in laws too.