Meet the Parents
As my friend Mike got older and dated more, he added something to his "don't want" list. He didn't want to marry into a family he was uncomfortable with.
The influence of the extended family is so much greater than anyone realizes. Should you choose to marry the person you're dating, what you see at their parents' house is most likely what you'll eventually get in yours.
Yikes! Scary thought, isn't it?
Mike once dated a young lady who was bright, cute, charming, and very sweet.
Then he met her family.
He knew right away he did not want to spend any more time with these people than he absolutely had to, let alone bring his children into this household. It would have been unbearable.
At that point, it became very apparent to Mike that one of the more important factors in his choice of partner would be the extended family. And it should be for you too.
These are the people who you will spend holidays with. Take vacations with. Help raise your children with.
Do you want your children in an environment that's packed with stress? Or brimming with alcohol abuse? Or filled with screaming and fighting day and night?
When your relationship is just getting started, take a good long look at the family. See how everyone relates with each other.
Do you feel a lot of love when you enter the house? Or do you cringe? Things like this will matter greatly in the future!
Jason and Ronda thank God for their in-laws. They're very similar. They've accepted both into their families and have always made everyone feel welcome. And as far as a basic child raising philosophy, they're all on the same page.
Many people gripe about their in-laws, but my friends couldn't have asked for a better family to marry into. They are certainly blessed. However not everyone is that lucky. If you know that there is no way you can ever get along with your future in-laws, walk out of that relationship. It will spare both of you a lot of agony later when you have a fallout with any member of her family.
When looking down the road in your relationship, please give close consideration to the extended family.
Take it from me--they're going to be with you for a long, long time.