The In-Law Stigma

Every summer I travel to the Midwest for a week to visit my in-laws. Ahhh in-laws. The word carries an awful stigma in our culture, but the reality is that most of us do or will someday carry this designation. There’s this awkward territorial tension paired with an expectation of perfection. Even though parents have spent years preparing their kids to leave the nest, it’s difficult for them to completely let go. Despite knowing that our spouse isn’t perfect, we somehow expect that the people that bore and raised them will be.

Case and I with Tom & Roxi on 1 of the saddest days of Rox's life 😉

I am blessed in the realm of in-laws for 2 reasons.

1) I have great in-laws who I really enjoy…
2) who happen to live 1,100 miles away.

Although they occasionally pick on me, they make extra effort to make me feel like a part of the family. Don’t get me wrong, they have their quirks, but that’s part of why I fit in so well.

Recently, a few of my married friends have been having major problems with their in-laws that have really lived up to the in-law stigma. In light of their struggles, my time with my in-laws this summer was even more sweet to me, but it did have me wondering. What do you want your in-law relationship to look like? What do you think makes in-law relationships seem more difficult than others?

About Shana Bresnahan Interactive media evangelist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center that truly loves life, loves God and loves others. Wife to Casey. Owner of Minny. Aunt to 11. Advocate of transparency. (Opinions my own)
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