Living in the In-Between

It’s Saturday night and I’m recouping from travel as I’m sure many of you are. Casey and I spent Thanksgiving week with his side of the family in Bismarck, North Dakota.  For the first time in a long time, the whole immediate family was able to get together. It was a genuinely fun time, but I found myself feeling a bit out of place. I’ve never really noticed it as much as I did this trip with all of us together for a week.

It’s hard being the newest member of the family. Think about it. They share the same genes, have years of history behind them and have an unbreakable bond, as they should. It’s difficult to become a part of that bond, but not impossible. There are two other in-laws in the family, but after 10+ years of marriage they have seamlessly integrated into the family.

It’s not for lack of effort that I felt out of place. Casey’s family is wonderful and the women have really gone out of their way to love me well. I guess I’m just stuck in this in-between phase. Not only am I the new girl, I’m the only woman that isn’t a mom. There’s a unique connection that draws mothers together. Their lives somewhat revolve around their children. It’s only natural that parenting would often be a topic of conversation, especially with my sister-in-law expecting. Even more, all the other women are all stay-at-home moms. Even further, they all love to cook. Clearly I’m not a mom. I’m a workaholic wife that hates being in the kitchen. Not exactly the most common ground to stand on.

So how do I keep from feeling out of place? Or maybe it’s just unavoidable. I mean aren’t we all always stuck in one in-between phase or another? I’d love to hear if any of you all have found yourself in a similar place with your in-laws, friends or your own family.

P.S. One more place for my 25 things list.

Related Post: The In-Law Stigma

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)
This entry was posted in 25 Things, Marriage, Travel. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Living in the In-Between

  1. denisec1 says:

    I had some of those same feelings when I joined my husband’s family. But, I am an extrovert to the extreme. I have always determined that when I find myself in those awkward places, the duty lies on me to correct it. I find one person with whom to purposefully find commonality. In my case, it was my father-in-law. He loved to tell stories and I loved to listen. Once I began making that effort, the integration into their lives and traditions and bonds took no time at all.

    You and Casey have something special…I work with him, by the way. And I check on you both on occasion. Only now, though, did I find out about your blog. Love it! Keep Christ first in all things!

  2. Lori says:

    I know exactly how you feel. I went to a church for 23 years and felt out of place!!! But I realized a lot of the problem was me. I am 53 and I have found the best way to fit in is to just start being warm and friendly to whoever God puts in your path. I have started just going up to people, smiling and asking questions and it works! Others respond to warmth and kindness. I also use to be very selfish and almost ruined my marriage. It sounds like you are on the right track. I have really learned to love and please my husband and it has radically changed mt marriage. God’s ways are so good!

    • Lori – I must say I love comments that start off with those words – “I know exactly how you feel.” I can’t imagine feeling out of place for 23 years! That must have been very difficult and lonely. Your redemption story is a beautiful one though and offers much hope. Thank you for speaking Truth 🙂

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