Marriage & The In-Law Reality

New Beginnings 2004
All of those rumors about mothers-in-law aren’t necessarily true. Since my daughter's wedding, I’ve had over 5 years of mother-in-law training and I think I’ve done a respectable job getting along with my son-in-law. We’ve become close friends as well as family.  We share inside jokes and future hopes. He even willingly sleeps on our foldout couch. And by now he undoubtedly understands why his wife sometimes is the way she is, because he has seen the way her parents are.

As parents, we weren’t weird all the time, but we were on occasion. Perhaps there may be an instance or two where our adult children might exhibit my Type A mania or their father’s Type B dreaminess. Some weirdness could have rubbed off on our kids, but the cool thing is that marriage has a way of working out those kinks. 

Our journey as in-laws has included everything a good marriage consists of: better and worse, sickness and health, richer and poorer and most important: to have and to hold for as long as we all shall live. 

While our kids repeat the wedding vows, the parents are part of the marriage equation. We can be cheerleaders, counselors, and compatriots. Mothers-in-law have been accused of clinging to high expectations. But my mother-in-law wasn’t that way.  She welcomed me into the family. And at the time, I was a rough-cut renegade. If she could be that generous in welcoming me, how can I be anything less?

My mother-in-law gave me an amazing gift: her son. And then she showed me how to run a good race.  It begins in the home -–a place where we ought to live in peace. Disagreements happen. Forgiveness is as important as love. Let the anger go and hold onto one another. Preferably the same day as the argument. 

Then she counseled that good things do take time. We may live in an immediate gratification culture—where we see it and want it now, but a good marriage will only become great with time.

She knew that the winds of trouble would blow and that’s when you learn about holding on tight. There’s joy in sharing a journey that’s meant to last. Hang on when it’s dark, and when it’s light you’ll be glad you did.

My life has been enriched through the love of my in-laws and all the extended family.  They didn’t choose me, but we chose to love one another.  What a difference it made in my life. Valentine’s Day reminds me of those loving choices and gives me a special day to honor that amazing love. 
Meeting my future mother-in-law

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