The in-laws can be a dreaded part of the marriage experience, for some more so than others, and especially for the wife facing her husband’s family. I’ve had a little tension with Jonathan’s relatives, but overall my experience with them has been overwhelmingly positive. In fact, I don’t always need Jonathan around as a “buffer” or even just as an excuse, to spend time with his relatives.
Jon’s part of a big family so there are a number of people with whom for me to interact. I first really hit it off with his older sister. We’re very similar in some ways (something we like to tease Jon about) and we definitely don’t need him around to have a good time. I’ve driven up to Alyssa’s house to spend weekends with her when Jon has stayed at home, because we were going to do things he wasn’t interested in.
We continue to have that close relationship; Jon and I stayed with Alyssa and her husband this weekend so we could be in town to attend an extended family cookout for Father’s Day. Jon left for the cookout early, and I stayed with Alyssa to help her make deviled eggs for the party. The day before we spent the entire afternoon baking while Jon took a nap on the porch and Alyssa’s husband watched sports. These are the sorts of things we do with ease together.
However, I’m beginning to plan social activities with Jon’s other relatives as well. Facebook has really helped facilitate that; I’m on Facebook but Jon isn’t, so when his family plans events or has discussions on Facebook I’m the only one who’s included, not the actual blood relation. During the planning process for Sunday’s cookout I mentioned my love of Korean food, and Jon’s uncle was intrigued. He ended up coming along with Alyssa, her husband, Jon, and I to a Korean restaurant for dinner on Saturday night. I love that we are all close enough to hang out without the excuse of a holiday, and that Jon’s uncle and I are the ones who organized the dinner.
Now I’m even starting to plan outings that don’t include Jonathan with more of his relatives. Alyssa really wants to go to Hershey Park, but no one will go with her. Jonathan is interested, but I am not. I told them they should go together, but rather than staying home I can hang out with other members of Jon’s family instead.
Another of Jon’s sisters and his grandmother were both disappointed that they had other plans preventing them from going to the Korean restaurant on Saturday. There’s another Korean place in the area that I want to try, so I suggested that while Jon and Alyssa are at Hershey Park, the three of us can try that out. We can also go shopping together; there are some really neat markets in downtown Lancaster.
Sometimes society tells brides that they’re going to have friction with their in-laws. Sometimes that really is the case. I just wanted to share my story; proof that in many cases, getting married also means gaining another awesome family.
*(The above image by photostock is from freedigitalphotos.net).