After two weeks of vacation I am both sad to be home and ready to be back from vacation. Unfortunately, after two weeks of bliss my husband and I got into a heated disagreement with my in-laws. This is not the first time I’ve failed to see eye-to-eye with my extended family and I’m afraid to say it certainly won’t be the last.
Over the last two weeks my eyes were opened in ways I could never have imagined. Growing up in my parent’s house for eighteen years I must admit that I’ve come to understand their fears and motivations. I understand my place in the family along with my roles, both the one that came naturally and the one I created for myself.
For as long as I can remember my parents have been open and understanding of the decisions I’ve made. Even thought they haven’t always agreed they have always stood beside me and supported my goals. I can’t remember specific conflicts between my parents and I. This isn’t to say that incidents didn’t happen, but rather that those events did not impact my relationship with my parent’s.
As a daughter-in-law I have often struggled with my in-laws. Quite simply I cannot seem to understand the motivations that drive them. My in-laws are guarded and reserved. A friend once remarked that you never really know what’s going in their lives. That they seem to hide the truth from even their closest friends.
For years I have felt more like a second class citizen than a part of the family. When conflicts have arisen my in-laws have categorized my rank and place in the family. The first time it stung more than I can admit, the second time I was already numb and I will admit that the pain was much less severe.
I’m not the perfect daughter-in-law but if you knew the facts you would agree that I have given my all to fit in with my extended family. My in-laws mean the world to my husband, just as my parents mean the world to me.
I wish things didn’t have to be this way. I wish that my upbringing was not so different from my husband’s and that my in-laws were a little more open to seeing things our way, but this vacation I learned that I can wish and wish and wish and wish and things will simply never change. There is simply too much baggage at this point on both sides.
At some point in time children grow up. As part of that process children often begin to see things differently than their parents. They begin to realize that they might not choose to live their lives the same way that their parents lived theirs. While some parents are happy to see their children spread their wings others are disappointed by the decisions their children make.
I’m afraid my in-laws are constantly disappointed in us. In terms of financial success my husband and I have broken away from the pack of our peers, but somehow or another it seems to me that no matter what we do we are never good enough… and I for one am sick of being shown and told that I am a disappointment.