Page 20 - 2017 Spring-Summer Issue
P. 20

© kichigin19/

                               In-laws: They Just Don’t


                               by Gloria Horsley                                                 found that 65% of the respondents had in-law problems and
                                                                                                 the majority of those problems were between female family
                               Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate            members. So it is consistent with that study; that in-law
                               Friends, recently shared a post on his Facebook page about        problems would emerge when family members are dealing
                               a call he received from a bereaved mom. Her son had died          with the death of a loved one.
                               of an accidental drug overdose, and she was upset that
                               her brother refused to go to a 2-year anniversary balloon         Why Forgive In-laws?
                               release because he felt she was, “dwelling too much in the
                               past”. In his post, Alan asked his Facebook Friends to offer      You might be saying to yourself, “I don’t like the way my
                               comments if they had heard of similar experiences. Most           in-laws treat me; why should I care if I don’t get along
                               of the responses from family members showed empathy               with them?” Well, if for no other reason, you all love the
                               and understanding, but those from non-family members,             same people. The biological bond is strong and we love our
                               especially in-laws, were not as forgiving. It seemed to           grandchildren, siblings and children. Also, you are the role
                               provide an opportunity to air past in-law grievances. One         model for how your children will treat you when you are
                               person wrote, “I lost my son and my new sister-in-law who         an in-law. If your behavior toward your in-laws includes
                               had not met my son, said that it had been three months            holding grudges, rejection or outright distaste, you are
                               since his death and I should get over it.” Another person         showing your family that this behavior is tolerated. On the
                               wrote, “At our son’s funeral my mother-in-law tried to take       other hand, if you are willing to forgive and show respect
                               over and pulled my husband, her son, into her car rather          toward them, even though this may be difficult, it may well
                               than letting him ride with me.” These responses were not          be rewarded in kind. In short, if you treat your in-laws
                               surprising. In a study of family issues I did a few years ago, I

                               2 0 |We Need Not Walk Alone
   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25