In-Laws: Friend or Foe?      

         by John E. Turner, LMFT and Sally Connolly, LMFT                 

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When you marry someone, generally, you also become involved with the family. You love the person that you marry; however, you may not love the family that they come from. 

Many in-laws are lovely people and want very much to get along with the new member of the family … you. They also may have very different rituals in which they “expect” you to participate. They may also have different needs for togetherness, extremely close relationships with each other … more than you may want.

At times, you, or your spouse, may feel stuck between parents and spouse. Deciding when to “smooth things over” and when to take sides can be tricky and difficult.
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 As a mother- or father-in-law, you may also have concerns about the spouse that your child has married. While you know how important it is to maintain a relationship with your own child, you have some serious concerns about the person that he … or she has chosen to marry.

In the next few pages, we will address these topics. We also invite you to go to our forum and share your ideas, experiences and dilemmas with us.