There’s no doubt that in-laws are difficult. Nearly everybody that has them agrees. And it is no wonder I guess, when a family suddenly has to change and adapt to include a new member, a member that seemingly has not right as they have not had to grow-up and experience the ‘family life’ and cannot therefore just usurp all the horrors of a family and join it! You have to do your time in the trenches! The movie series ‘Meet the Fockers’ is a comic representation of the truth and reality of marrying into somebody else’s family. In my life, I am Ben Stiller and Robert Deniro is played by my sister in-law. Even though, the father in that movie is a crazy, egotistical man, at least he is a man and doesn’t come with all the manipulation a woman has stored up in her mad woman head! What is that quote from William Congreve “”Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned / Nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.” It’s palpable to hear and see and experience and once unleashed it is relentless!
I’ve just spent a week with my in-laws and I feel like I’m coming out of a tornado—ripped and torn to shreds but dazed and unsure exactly what happened. What is it about other families, why can’t we just get along?
When we grow up in a family I guess we learnt the nuances, we learn the way the whole system operates. We know what action causes what reaction and therefore we learn quickly what actions to keep well clear of so as not to set off an almighty reaction you couldn’t possibly have known would happen!
The old Good versus Evil story
The way I tell this story however will inevitably make me the good guy and my sister-in-law the bad guy. The good vs. evil will be portrayed from my point of view. If she was to tell the story no doubt the characters playing good and evil would be reversed. Good vs. evil is sadly the state of many families that have to take somebody new, outside into their fold. They are the good and the evil is infiltrating their already worked out system. I guess if you can be apart of their system, work within their system then you could be perceived as good and not evil and then the it would not be good vs. evil but just good and good.
A little bit of understanding goes a long way
I hate it though, and I don’t even think my situation is a disaster. There must be situations where you actually have to finish a relationship because of the family you are marrying into—like that sick Scandinavian family depicted in ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’—now that would be some in-laws! That makes me think that it’s not really good vs. evil in my silly situation and merely two women unable to bridge an understanding gap that maybe just needs a bit more love and attention to help the relationship along.
I recently came across the World Transformation Movement website which discusses the good and evil in human make-up which I found particularly interesting. Australian Biologist Jeremy Griffith seems to be an extremely insightful writer.