One of the hardest things about becoming a daughter-in-law for me, was feeling like I was “cheating” on my mom. Yes, my husband is the love of my life, but in some subconscious way, becoming close to his mom somehow negated the love I felt for my own mother. I know that may not make sense, but sometimes the subconscious doesn’t, and it took me years to finally figure that out. Our experts could probably write pages on that statement, but that is not the theme for this week!
The same concept goes for my sister-in-law. She is an amazing person. One of those people that is so nice that you start to wonder if it is sincere. And it is. Because I have three sisters, I felt like I didn’t have time for her. If I had time to talk on the phone, it was going to be to one of my sisters. Again, it took me a few years to see the light, because I realized that I was missing out on an incredible person. Our relationship was fine. Very friendly. But recently we have begun talking and bonding more, and the more I open myself up, the more I see that I can fit all of these amazing women into my life and my heart.
My sister-in-law is my ally. She helps me navigate my relationship with my in-laws, and lobbies for me on occasion. She is a gift.
This week’s theme of sibling-in-law relationships was really important to me because these relationships are such an integral part of our newly formed families. I realize that not everyone is as fortunate as I am in having a sister-in-law that is extremely kind and thoughtful. If your relationship is more difficult, but there is room for improvement, put your best foot forward and try to set the tone for mutual respect at a minimum.
Dr. Laviage’s thoughts:
There are so many opportunities when it comes to relationships with one’s siblings-in-law and they range from exciting to down right scary! The beauty is that this is a new relationship for you to make of it what you want. If you want the brother you never had, you may now have an opportunity to get one! If you always resented being the youngest child because you never got to be the “big sister,” now you may have that chance! Of course, with all these possibilities, it takes two to tango and your desires may not match up with your sibling-in-law’s desires. Another factor to consider is your spouse’s relationship with his siblings and to be respectful of that relationship. Regardless, relationships are what help us to grow, learn, and love – and this new sibling-in-law relationship will be one that influences you and has an impact on your life. Embrace the opportunity to make it something wonderful!
Ms. Ram’s thoughts: