Thank you for participating in our Relational Studies course. The students will post questions below, weekly. Please respond to all questions by pressing the comment link associated with each question. We will be looking at the differences and similarities between answers. Make sure you click on Older Posts at the bottom of the page as many of the questions will be on the next page.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

We all know that every family has "issues" or dynamics that are a challenge.  How have you handled potential conflict with you and/or your partner's family within your relationship?


  1. Steve & I are sitting here talking about this one and neither one of us feels that we've had "issues" with each other's families. Having said that... our families have very different styles and each of us has had to adjust. I come from a big family and when we get together, it's loud and a bit crazy (we're talking 30-40 immediate relatives). For Steve, this was a little overwhelming at first. Steve's family is much smaller and quieter (just Steve & his brother and our 5 kids combined). This felt strange and a bit empty for me at first. It definitely took some getting used to for both of us when we started spending holidays and vacations with each other's families. Now we have grown to appreciate the fact that we get to experience both kinds of families.
    Steve & Tricia

  2. Ken and Louise - I know this is gonna sound all pollyana, but we have both been fortunate in this area. We both can say that we haven't had any "in-law" issues. Both our parents have been great about staying out of our business. Since ken doesn't have siblings, I got off scott free from that regard and Ken says he has never had issues with my siblings.

  3. Ellen- For the most part, Matt and I do not have any major issues with either family. Both of our parents are very religious (different religions) but practice their beliefs in very different manners. We know that my parents would rather that we attend church regulary, and I am quite certain they pray for us A LOT, but they do not question our choices or push us in any way. Matt's parents are very different in that respect. They are very forward in their disapproval in our lack of attendance at church and question and push us often. My parents have embrace Matt wholeheartedly. In fact, I often joke that they would choose him over me in a heart beat! I do think that if given the choice, Matt's parents would have chosen a different partner for their son. Religion being the sole reason for this.

  4. Brett and I say all the time how lucky we are to have four (his and mine) amazing parents. We have no issues on either side other than the inevitable family squabbling that is bound to happen from time to time. We both feel really comfortable with each other's families and love spending time with both sides. -Jenna

  5. I have to say that I have the Greatest In-Laws. I guess its because we have known each other for so long prior to Sheryl and I getting married and starting a family. Another reason is also the fact that Sheryl's family gives us the respect and space we need and my family the same. Unless we ask them, their 2 cents are normally kept to themselves. --Val

  6. I've always been a fan of the quote: "You can pick your husband or wife, but you can't choose your in-laws!" Jenna has two great parents and an awesome sister :) - I couldn't have imagined joining a better family.
    That being said, if my in-laws WERE crazy, they are still Jenna's family and for that, I would still love them as much as I do. My recommendation: Respect them and get to know what they appreciate. My father-in-law loves golf, baseball, education, and trading stocks....however, he is very assertive with his opinions and is very blunt in telling you how things are. I've learned to understand this and let comments "roll off my back" if I don't agree and focus on all the great things we have in common. My mother-in-law is very crafty, has a newfound enjoyment for cooking, HATES the Red Sox (specifically Youk), and loves her daughters more than anything in the world. Although I give her s*it about liking the Yankees, there are so many other positive things between us that we have created a great friendship.

    Wow - I think that was just a long-winded answer to say to understand those issues that your in-laws might have, and focus and exploit everything you have in common, such as the love and respect you have for your husband or wife (their son or daughter).