Problems with Inlaws? How to handle ?


Photo Courtesy : inlaws

Marriage is the equal partnership of a man and a woman, and should be the happiest relationship we know in this life.

As Jesus says in Matthew 19:9, and elsewhere, marriage is also a relationship that should never be broken except for the reason that the partner is having an affair and sexual relations with other person.

Yet in spite of the closeness of the marriage tie, about one out of every three marriages in our country break up, and a very frequent cause of divorce is the interference of parents or other close relatives interference of which the parents themselves are often unconscious.

Its easy to understand if we would think this way that family relationships are developed over many years so its ideally very close and permanent. Its by nature that parents love their children. They guide, teach, discipline them, and help form their sense of values, their way of thinking and acting. In a sense, they come to idealize their own children in comparison with those from other homes, who may not have the same sense of values and may not think and act in exactly the same way.

Children also by nature love and admire their parents. Over the years, they begin to think and act almost as they do, and have the same sense of values what their parents have taught them.

BUT when two young people marry, they bring into the new home the cultures from two different families, whose sense of values and ways of thinking and acting may be quite different. In such case, it is easy for the parents of the groom to feel that his bride does not quite meet the standards they had expected in a wife for their son. It is just as easy for the parents of the bride to feel that the young man is not all they had wanted in a husband for their daughter.

Furthermore, the young couple who are recently married and establishing a new home feel that they have a right to manage it in their own way. But since they come from different family backgrounds, if they are sensitive it is easy for the young wife to feel that her husband’s parents interfere with them too much, and for the husband to feel the same way about his wife’s parents.

THEN WHAT IS THE SOLUTION FOR THIS CONFLICT OF RELATIONSHIPS – a conflict which arises from the natural affection of parents for their children and of children for their parents?

Jesus himself suggests the solution when, in Matthew 19:4-6, he quotes God’s intention when he established the institution of marriage and the home. Some Pharisees approached Jesus, and tested him, saying, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause whatever?”

“Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’. So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
God’s statement places the primary responsibility on the young couple to see that their love and their commitments to each other are always above the commitment to their parents, no matter how deep the family ties may have been. – The term “leave” father and mother, however, does not mean a complete break or abandonment. Instead, Jesus in Mark 7:10-13 states plainly that children are to honor their parents and, when necessary, even support them financially. The establishment of a new home does not release them from this obligation. But the term does mean that the intimate relations which have formerly existed between parents and children must and should change when the children marry.
Naturally, the young couple want to be independent and manage their own home. But they need also to recognize that their parents have a deep interest in them and want to help them to be happy. They might also remember that these parents have had many more years of experience than they have had and might be of help in solving some of their problems. What they may at times consider as criticism or interference in their affairs, they might consider as a perhaps unwise desire of their parents to help them. If there is a difference in point of view, they might be patient and try with love and kindness to win their parents to their view; or, surprisingly, they might see their parents’ view the wiser.
On the other hand, though parents still have a deep love for their children and want to help them, they should realise that the young couple now have a right to be independent and to work out their own problems. Even though they think the youngsters are making mistakes in managing their home, their children, or their finances, they should be extremely tactful and kind in making suggestions or in giving unasked advice. They should not expect them to do everything exactly as they themselves would do. They should by all means not impose their own views on their children. There cannot be the same closeness of association, the same amount of attention parents have formerly enjoyed, for their children now have other responsibilities which must claim their time and attention.
FOR BOTH PARENTS AND CHILDREN try to exercise the love and compassion, the kindness and understanding so there will be no trouble and only happiness.