It was a typical day in Los Angeles, five months into our first year of marriage. Les was helping me put groceries in the cupboard when he told me about a conversation he had with his parents back in Chicago earlier that afternoon.
“Anyway, they’re expecting us for Christmas dinner.”
“What?!” I exclaimed. “Aren’t you forgetting something here?”
“No, I know,” Les confidently retorted. “Your parents are invited too.”
“That’s not the point,” I fired back. “My mom and dad have already planned a Christmas dinner for us and want your parents to join them.”
In-laws. They do the darndest things. Looking back on all our years of marriage—in addition to counseling countless couples—we’ve learned struggles with in-laws are almost inevitable.
Common In-Law Issues
Someone once observed Adam and Eve got along as well as they did because neither had any in-laws to worry about. Maybe so, but they still had their problems. One can only imagine how having in-laws might have compounded them. Or would they have lightened their load? Perhaps their seemingly impossible babysitting problem would have been solved. Who knows?
Most married couples know, that’s who. It seems some couples couldn’t be happier with their in-laws, while other couples feel their in-laws are the source of most of their problems. If you tend to identify more with the latter group, don’t think you are alone. Experts believe three-quarters of all married couples have problems with their in-laws.