Thursday, September 5, 2013

In-Laws: they drive me crazy AND make me better!

Life will test you. Everyday we're tested. It's a part of living in such a complex world. One area where I am often tested is in "dealing" with my in-laws. I find that I am so different  than them. This isn't a right verses wrong or good verses bad different, it's just different and differences can create challenges. Maybe this is something all married couples go through, but I've definitely been dealing (for lack of a better word) with being so different than my in-laws for the better part of a decade now.

To be clear, my in-laws are humble, kind, united and fun-loving. I'd like to think I'm blessed for having the husband I do and his family of origin (in-laws), but then there's the challenging part. My in-laws (including my husband) can be very free-flowing, easy-going and not very communicative. I am anything but free flowing. I appreciate structure and planning. Plus, I talk a lot, but that doesn't make me the best communicator per say, but I do speak my mind and I speak it often. 

Now there's the challenge. I often butt-heads with my husband (and his family) because I expect structure when they don't. I expect to voice concerns when they rather not delve into tough conversations for the sake of avoiding conflict. I say, bring on the conflict, ha! Okay, maybe I'm not encouraging conflict, but I appreciate open dialogue. 

For years, I'd exist in an annoyed state frustrated by the easy-go-luckiness of it all. Like the "oh if we don't find a hotel during this last minute NYE trip to Vegas we'll just sleep in the car!" Yeah, I'm NOT sleeping in the car! But this was a microcosm of so much more. We were and continue to be different. 

It drives me crazy and yet it makes me better. I've learned to become less rigid with structure, I've changed my expectations and still try not to sacrifice who I am in the process. I continue to express my thoughts even if those make me the odd ball. Like the photo with this blog, I'm the one red apple, different than the green ones but with my heart in the right place.

In the end, my hope is to work with my in-laws NOT against them and in so many ways its made me better for life, period. In a world where we have to deal with so many people in different types of  relationships, I've been blessed to grow in this particular family.

Ultimately, I like to believe that I was blessed with this family so different than the one I grew up with to become a bigger and better me. And at the same time I'm hopefully allowing my in-laws a chance to also grow and see the world in a perspective other than what they're use to. Plus, my children get the best of both worlds and hopefully find a happy medium in which to grow and come into their own. 

Who challenges you... a co-worker, boyfriend, best-friend? 
How have you grown from a relationship with someone you perceive as very different than you who is also someone you care a lot about? 

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