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Inlaws or Outlaws ?

There has always been the say that you can pick your friends but you can't pick your family. The same should be said about in-laws. We are given brother and sister in-laws by the choices our siblings make. We assume mother and father in-laws by the choices we make in selecting our mates. Both situations require some deep soul searching because the more you know about these people, the better you will be at getting along with them.

In a perfect world, we would have a perfect relationship with our siblings and their choices. In the real world, we are faced with what appears to be the unknown. When problems between you and your blood family exist, there is always the temptation for the in-law to intervene in the affairs of the family. You and your family members should have a way of dealing with problems that do not require the advice of an in-law. There are basically two types of in-laws.

The first type respects that the family is mature enough to solve their own conflicts and is only a supportive figure. This person understand that your brothers, sisters, mother and father were and always will be your family. They have no desire to come in between or be put before your family. This person has a family of their own and understands the needs of a family and their need to solve its own problems. The second type of in-law is the type that wants to be closer to the family than the family is to itself. This person usually comes from a background that has no family to speak of. They will try to adopt your family and reject their own. This person will get involved in your family even when their involvement is not needed. Be aware that this person is self centered and somewhat dysfunctional. This person is constantly giving advice to your family about every possible subject but has no family in which you can judge the results of what this person is saying. This person should practice this advice on their own family and show by their own family why it would be good to do things in a certain way. In most cases you will find this person staying away from their own family. This person will not really have the ability to unite and can only divide and conquer the person that made them an in-law. This is really the goal of type two in-laws. Their insecurities always come to the front of a family dispute. This person's needs will always have to be addressed first and at the expense of family unity. This person has no understanding of taking a back seat or a reserve role. Their only point of reference is the behavior of the family that raised them. This person is a victim of a learned behavior. If left unchecked, this person will try to duplicate the dysfunction that is a part of their own experience.

The best way to deal with type two in-laws is to make them aware of their negative effect on the family. Until they can resolve their own family problems, their advice about your family solutions to problems will not be needed. Most people that have functioning families have so much that they can do in their own family. They don't have time or the energy to get involved in the affairs of others.

We want in-laws to share in the feeling of family, as it can be very rewarding. Everyone eneds to be in a position to make their mate better and therefore their mate's family better. How? By doubling the good things and dividing the grief. Remember, no matter who you are that blood is thicker than water. Family is always going to be family. Make the choice. Either you're an in-law or an outlaw. Let's be the best we can be, a universal family that we can all be proud of.

Hotep, Brother Dalani Aamon
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