Sex & the Campus

Sex and the Campus: Intolerable In-Laws

Every relationship has its milestones. For some, this can be moving in together, saying I love you, the first time you have sex. For others, meeting the parents ranks at the top. When you are dating, the parents are not a huge factor. The weight is placed on whether your compatibility with each other.

Why is it when you were dating, parents seemed to be of no consequence? The parents made you feel more than welcome, as if you inherited another family. However, when you got married, the in-laws became a force of their own? Maybe the relationship with the in-laws didn’t change. Maybe the stars aligned and uncomfortable in-laws wasn’t in the cards. But not everyone is lucky enough to mesh with his or her in-laws. Why does it seem there is an enviable price to pay for finding your other half? I have to wonder why if you have great in-laws, the marriage goes south, but a great relationship paves a bumpy road with in-laws. Why does the other shoe always have to drop?

Despite the old adage of “marrying into the family,” you are able to choose for the most part when you spend time with your in-laws. Although avoiding in-laws comes with its own issues, such as if you have children or when the holidays roll around. If moving hundreds of miles away isn’t a viable option, a strategy must be developed for those shared occasions.

Alcohol. One option is to drink through those uncomfortable occasions. I ponder if this has something to do with why alcohol sells are at their highest during the holidays. Maybe there is a silent mass of people suffering from in-laws. However, unless you have a liver of steel or don’t mind being considered a member of AA meetings, you will have to endure with less help from Jack Daniels or the captain.

Those insufferable moments with in-laws are bound to creep up eventually, but holidays seem to be worst. Long dinners and the pressure of accidentally giving in-laws more fuel for their torches and pitchforks can ruin any event.

Some experiences with in-laws can be pleasant, but you cannot please everyone. Should you even care what they think? You cannot control how your in-laws feel about you and therefore, sweating over an ideal relationship is impractical. However, there is a catch. If family is important to you and or to your significant other, you will have to find a way to do more than endure your in-laws. Maybe all you can do is give your best and hope your mate appreciates your effort. Maybe in the bigger scheme of things, that is all that matters. But just in case, a stashed bottle of something strong can be helpful.

By Jill Mahler

Jill Mahler is a former Editor-in-Chief of the Commuter.

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