Excerpted from "Being Family: The get-along guide for in-laws"
"I always hated in-law jokes. And when I got married, I knew why. Getting along with your in-laws is no laughing matter. I always felt that family was your first and last line of defense against the cold, cruel world. You stick together. But, I learned that a wedding ring and a marriage license don’t create family ties. People do. Real love takes time to cultivate. What is perplexing to me is how many families never give in-laws a chance from the start.
For some people, in-law problems start at the beginning. “She’s always hated me!” “I never liked him.” For others, trouble creeps up and takes them by surprise. “Everything was fine until we/they got married/had the baby!” What triggers this combat?
Human beings are like pack animals. It is natural instinct to protect their own pack, and it is a long process before a new creature is allowed in. We are suspicious of strangers. They’re fine at a distance, which is why no one seems to put up defenses during the dating phase. But marriage is a commitment that makes everyone wary. Is this person going to fit into our family? Is he or she good enough? How will this change us? Is this a family threat?
A human parent’s instinct is to love and protect its young for the rest of its life. And, if he or she relishes the role, it will not be easy to hand over this responsibility to someone else, especially a young, inexperienced person. A parent will not adjust easily to being second in its child’s life. A parent must come to terms with this, but it is not easy or pleasant. It hurts.
For new, young wives and husbands, the change is equally hard. Just starting out, they’ve broken away from their own families to live independent lives. They busy themselves creating their new families, making decisions, choosing their lifestyles. This freedom is exciting! They now have their own little family or pack to protect and nurture. They do not appreciate outsiders telling them how to run their lives. This is all new to the young family. They don’t realize that someday their own little offspring will set off to start his own family and they’ll want to be a part of their grown child’s life, too. They’re too busy to think that far ahead. But they should."
Understanding motivations and perspectives
The simple truth is that everyone just wants to feel loved and significant and the book includes tips to help achieve that. By seeing matters through everyone else's eyes, it becomes easier to feel compassionate, courteous and cooperative which will pave the way for honest and enduring relationship building.
Whether you're a soon-to-be-married, newlywed or longtime married, this gritty little book can help you transform your family relationships.
Reviewer and editor Tina Sansone said, "This book is a must read for brides and grooms."
This is the link for the electronic version but a hard copy version is available through Amazon for only $5.00. The e-book version is only .99 cents.
Being Family: The get along guide for in-laws