November 29, 2012

Pondering....In-laws

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Joining in with Brenda again this week for Pondering with a Purpose, but I'm treading carefully as this week's topic makes me nervous.  It's one that has caused me no end of grief when blogged about in the past, but I'm no quitter so I will give it a try and pray for the best.


This Week's prompt: In-Laws

Do you love your in-laws? Do your in-laws love you?
As the holidays approach I realize this is a great thing to talk about... we all have them... either Mothers or Fathers in Law, Sisters or Brothers in Law, Sons or Daughters in law.... no matter how isolated we are .... unless we are only children who never married ... there is an in-law in your life! So tell me....  do you love them and do they love you back?

I am an only child, but I got married and my husband came with a whole passel of in-laws for me to adjust to.  There were his parents, of course, but there were also his brother and five sisters.  That took a bit of adjusting to.  My mom loves to tell people how excited I was to be getting five sisters along with a husband....only to be more than a little frazzled by the reality of those five sisters who immediately included me among them....which included "shopping" in my closet, rearranging our furniture, shopping as a herd, and whatever else may have been complete culture shock to me in those days.

On the subject of my mother-in-law I can honestly say I was blessed.  She was a lovely, warm, caring person who took me under her wing and loved me the way my own mother never had.  I ADORED her and still miss her terribly though she's been gone since 2000.  

The relationship with my father-in-law was a little more complicated.  In the beginning we liked each other, joked around, and I knew I could count on him if I needed him.  Things changed, though, and I admit I grew to feel a bit taken advantage of about some financial things and there was a bit of resentment there.  Nothing, however, that got in the way of us all being a close-knit family.  It all took a drastic turn for the worse when my husband and his sister had a falling out and I had to watch my husband and children suffer as the man hurt them over and over through his actions and words, taking sides rather than leading the family back into peace.  I'm ashamed to say I'm not sure I ever totally forgave him before he died.

These days I'm the mother-in-law.  My relationship with my daughter-in-law is tenuous at best.  I would love for it to be different, but as Tim says, "it is what it is."  My daughter-in-law decided from the beginning that I didn't like her and acted accordingly.  My reaction to that made things even worse.  Things have been said (by both of us) that, though apologized for, linger between us.  I've come to accept we will never (barring a miracle) be close, but we are being civil and getting along, at least on the surface, for the sake of everyone else.  I don't know what made her think I didn't like her right from the start.  It wasn't true then and things I later blogged stemmed more from my hurt and frustration than any root dislike of her.  I wish I could make her understand that I don't hate her and that even though we're never going to be bff's, I do love her as my son's wife and the mother of my grandchildren.

Maybe it's telling that all of us who married into my husband's family refer to ourselves as "The Outlaws."

9 comments:

Judy said...

in-laws is a touchy subject. i have a great mother-in-law, although not perfect. i wanted to take the best of her and the best of my own mother and be THAT kind of mother-in-law. We shall see if I am successful!

My Kid's Mom said...

I can only hope that my sil and dil feel the same about me as I felt toward my mil.

Brenda Youngerman said...

perhaps you and I have the same daughter-in-law? I would love to get that relationship back on track..but honestly can't even find the road...

Thanks for pondering with me!

retired not tired said...

My mother never had a mil or fil so she said she would try her best without an example. My father on the other hand took his mil under his wing.

Kathy ... aka Nana said...

Ah yes, in-laws. How blessed we are if we can have good relationships with them. But just like with our birth families, sometimes there are people who it's so difficult to get along with.

HeY J said...

When women are scorn they think that no one likes them all short comings become the focus of the MIL it must be her so they sit back fold their arms and dig in with the me or her...it is not fair it is not right but they love the fight and sadly you get to be the target I am so sorry she can not see what a wonderful friend she is missing out on :] at least she isn't mean enough to keep the kiddos from you :)

Simone said...

I have a terrific son in law that had I chosen one, he would be chosen over and over again. As far as my fil and other in laws, they are nice but the relationship isn't one that I pictured at all.

Rochelle@AFamilyofLooneys said...

Ahh Stacy this one hits home for me. As of right now I am not talking to my father-in-law. I have not talked to him since the Fourth of July. He took sides when his other grandson dislocated my sons elbow. He kept defending him. We had been having issues for awhile and this was the last straw. I hate that it has come to this. I am tired of being hurt by him, so I decided to cut him off. I couldn't do it anymore.

Stacy said...

Judy...Sometimes I think the problem is that mothers-in-law have such an image problem that people make up their minds before hand it's not going to be good.

My Kid's Mom...From what I've read on your blog I bet they do. :)

Brenda...I know how you feel. Maybe we should just pop a cork and raise a toast to ourselves?

Retired...I bet they both did a great job.

Kathy...So very true.

Hey J...I don't suppose any of us like to admit we're part of the problem. :/ I am very thankful for the time we have with the grandkids. :)

Simone...I am so very glad for you that you have that kind of relationship with your sil. It seems more of my friends have relationships similar to mine with their children's significant others. What a sad, sorry state of affairs.

Rochelle...I understand completely and will be praying for you and the kids. My kids knew and still resent that their grandfather did not love them as much as his other grandchildren. It sucks.

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