Participants: Mike and Gayle Tucker
Series Code: MGH
Program Code: MGH000088A
00:19 Welcome to Marriage in God's Hand.
00:21 I'm Mike Tucker, this is Gayle Tucker,
00:23 we're with Faith for Today television,
00:25 host of Lifestyle Magazine and Mad About Marriage.
00:28 And we've been talking
00:30 the last several programs about marriage.
00:33 And, you know, when you get married,
00:35 the feeling is it's kind of you and me
00:37 against the world right, love conquers all.
00:39 That's sweet, isn't it? That's, right.
00:40 It's just gonna be you and me,
00:42 and everything else will just be peripheral,
00:43 it won't matter.
00:45 That's right. That's right.
00:48 You know what's false about that
00:50 is that when you get married,
00:51 you don't just marry that person,
00:53 you marry the entire clan, the entire family.
00:56 I didn't just marry this girl named Gayle,
00:58 I married the entire Whitaker clan,
01:00 didn't I?
01:01 That is exactly right,
01:02 and so we're gonna talk about in-laws
01:04 In-laws, but of course,
01:05 you married the entire Tucker clan too.
01:07 Yes, I did.
01:08 Yeah, and that's a challenge.
01:10 You know, there is just a lot more
01:11 than you ever anticipated on both sides there.
01:14 On both sides.
01:15 And I think that's true for most people,
01:17 they figure out well,
01:18 I didn't know that
01:20 I was marrying and so and so, you know.
01:23 And then just the mother-in-law and father-in-law.
01:26 But of course, all the mother-in-law jokes.
01:27 I mean, how many mother-in-law jokes do you know?
01:29 How many of you heard it.
01:30 Oh, they're endless, aren't they?
01:31 Yeah, they are.
01:33 That always somebody has a comment
01:34 to make about their mother-in-law.
01:35 But they come from somewhere, don't they?
01:37 They do.
01:38 I mean, someplace,
01:40 there's a reason for those jokes.
01:41 There is a reason for this.
01:42 Most, not most,
01:44 but many people have a hard time
01:46 getting along with their in-laws.
01:47 Now fortunately, I have that worked out
01:51 because I have the best mother-in-law in the world.
01:53 She adores you too by the way.
01:55 And your mom, she is something else.
01:57 She is really such a precious person
01:59 and she...
02:01 She had it figured out
02:02 because before we got married, when we were engaged,
02:06 she called me one day,
02:07 she said, "I want you to come over,
02:09 I'd like to talk to you for a few minutes."
02:12 And so, I came over sat down,
02:15 and we sat down together on the sofa
02:17 and their family were,
02:19 I still remember we were facing each other,
02:21 and she pulled out a little thing.
02:24 It was a saucer
02:25 that had a cup on it and on that cup
02:29 there were names written.
02:31 And they were the names of all of the people
02:34 in your second grade class or maybe it was first grade.
02:37 And they were written on this cup
02:39 and someone had painstakingly written those names on
02:42 and your name was there,
02:44 and then they had fired this,
02:46 and you had given it to your mom,
02:48 I think as a Mother's Day gift or something.
02:50 She had kept that all through the years
02:53 and she said,
02:54 "Now, you're going to be part of our family,
02:56 you are going to be our family,
02:58 and I want you to have this to let you know
03:00 how much I care about you, and you are my new daughter."
03:04 That meant so much to me. I have never forgotten that.
03:07 We've been close all through the years,
03:09 so she had something figured out there.
03:11 She did and she adores you.
03:12 You know that if you and I ever had problems
03:14 and she found out about it, she would blame me.
03:17 Or should be right, I don't know.
03:20 Thanks a lot, dear.
03:21 Well, I want you to know that I'm very fortunate too
03:24 because I have great in-laws.
03:26 Your father,
03:28 before he passed away was such an inspiration to me,
03:31 such a godly man and I loved him dearly.
03:33 And your mother is a sweetheart.
03:35 She is precious so, I've been very, very fortunate.
03:39 And the truth is that they have not meddled.
03:41 You know, some in-laws just meddle.
03:44 And your parents have always been there to support,
03:47 but not to interfere.
03:49 So I think we're very fortunate in this respect.
03:51 I think we are
03:52 and not everybody experiences that.
03:53 No, they don't.
03:55 And even, you know,
03:56 as good a relationship as we've had,
03:57 there had been moments,
03:59 you know, when either, you know,
04:01 you or I have thought,
04:03 "Man, I'm not so sure about this family
04:04 getting along with these in-laws."
04:06 Oh, yeah.
04:07 So we want to talk today about some ideas
04:10 for getting along with in-laws
04:11 and realizing that they are a part of your family
04:14 and they will be a part of your family from now on.
04:16 You can't ignore them.
04:17 You can't hope that they'll go away.
04:19 They are there.
04:20 And so you have to deal with them.
04:21 And I think the first way to do
04:23 that is by getting to know them.
04:24 I think it is.
04:26 Sometimes we think it's their job
04:27 to just accommodate us
04:29 and get to know us after all, you know,
04:31 we're the married couple.
04:33 But I think
04:34 as a daughter-in-law or son-in-law,
04:36 one of the best things a person can do is
04:38 begin to get to know their in-laws.
04:42 Sit down with them, listen to their stories,
04:44 understand their background, know them as a person.
04:47 Begin to understand why they are the way they are
04:50 whether it's good or bad.
04:52 And then accept that fact.
04:54 This is who this person is.
04:55 Listen more than you talk and just get to know them for,
05:00 for who they are, understand them as a person.
05:03 And if you do that, you'll find wisdom there.
05:06 You're going to find a wealth of stories
05:09 and understanding of the world
05:11 that is different than your own,
05:13 because it's an understanding that is forged by experience.
05:17 And it may, it doesn't mean
05:18 that it's a perfect understanding of the world.
05:20 And it doesn't mean the wisdom is always perfect,
05:23 but it's going to be something that you will benefit from
05:25 if you will allow yourself to do so.
05:28 So I think you're right.
05:29 Listen and then honor their love
05:31 before your spouse.
05:33 I think that's step number two.
05:35 They have a relationship with your spouse,
05:37 because they're the ones that raise them.
05:40 They raised your spouse.
05:42 So you know, you've got to honor
05:45 the unique relationship that they have.
05:49 Good, bad or indifferent,
05:50 you have to honor that relationship
05:51 and particularly if they truly love your spouse.
05:56 You've got to love them for that.
05:59 And not be threatened by the fact
06:01 that the love exist and that that's a relationship
06:04 that they've had for many years.
06:06 There is history there.
06:08 They have the relationship they have
06:09 because of all the experiences that they've had together.
06:13 So you need to not be threatened by the fact
06:15 that they love your spouse,
06:17 but honor that love that they have for your spouse.
06:21 Sometimes I think people find it threatening.
06:23 Well, I did quite frankly.
06:25 You were so close to your daddy.
06:27 And there was such a close relationship there,
06:29 I thought how will I ever measure up to this.
06:31 I felt like, you know, she is so close to him.
06:33 But through the years I discovered something.
06:36 I discovered that that relationship of intimacy
06:38 between you and your father
06:40 is what made it so easy for you to relate to me
06:43 as your husband.
06:45 Women learn to relate to men from their fathers.
06:49 And if they've had a close relationship
06:50 with their daddy, they find it easy to bond
06:53 with a man and marriage.
06:54 If they were estranged from their father, distant,
06:56 if it was an abusive relationship,
06:58 they will forever struggle
07:00 with their relationships with men.
07:02 But you have not struggled,
07:03 and your daddy is the one that I have to thank for that.
07:06 So I stopped being intimidated,
07:08 and I started being thankful for that.
07:11 And you know I think to realize that,
07:13 I had a great relationship with him,
07:15 but that does not preclude me having a relationship with you.
07:19 It paved the way for it.
07:20 Yeah, you came to understand that
07:22 and I think that was...
07:23 It took, it took some growing
07:24 on my part to figure that out, you know.
07:26 At first, what is this
07:27 but that leads us to the next step
07:28 and that is don't isolate yourselves from the in-laws.
07:32 Now there may be...
07:34 times when that is necessary
07:35 if indeed there is an unhealthy relationship,
07:37 it's abusive relationship,
07:39 that's not what we're talking about here.
07:41 They may be irritating to you,
07:43 but still you don't isolate yourself or your spouse
07:46 from your in-laws.
07:48 Include them as best you can
07:50 in the activities of your family,
07:51 include them in the life of your family because they...
07:55 this is important to them.
07:57 I think this is especially true,
07:59 and especially important for young married couples
08:02 to understand.
08:03 You know, that the parents
08:05 may feel somewhat threatened by the fact
08:08 that their child is getting married.
08:10 There is a fear there
08:11 that maybe there won't be a close relationship anymore,
08:14 maybe they will be excluded.
08:16 So you can put them at ease basically by letting them know
08:19 that you're not trying to separate yourself from them.
08:22 You want to be a part of the family.
08:25 You know these are joint families,
08:26 we talked in another session about blended families.
08:30 And in a sense, you're blending families
08:33 just simply by getting married.
08:35 You're not, you don't already have children
08:37 that you're blending,
08:38 but you are blending two families
08:40 with different backgrounds.
08:42 And the parents need to know
08:43 that they're not suddenly gonna be excluded,
08:46 they're not gonna be not a part of their child's life anymore.
08:49 They're still a part of things,
08:51 and they are to be included in things.
08:53 It doesn't mean that you include them
08:55 in everything or every detail.
08:57 In fact, I think it's important for newly married couples
09:00 to establish your own traditions.
09:03 To establish your personal identity
09:05 as a family apart from the families of origin.
09:10 And so, even though there's an honoring of your in-laws,
09:13 and there's an honoring of what those traditions might be
09:16 and there's a refusal to exclude them.
09:20 But there's still the need for a separate identity.
09:23 This is who we are, this is what we do.
09:26 It complements what we've had before.
09:29 It stands apart from it,
09:31 but yet this gives us a corporate identity.
09:34 It does.
09:35 I think it's important that every family be a family,
09:39 you know.
09:40 And when you get married, you are a new family.
09:43 That's okay.
09:44 But the in-laws are a part of that,
09:46 and you can't exclude them.
09:48 That means that basically, there will be some boundaries,
09:50 you know...
09:52 Boundaries are okay.
09:53 Boundaries are, they're part of every healthy relationship.
09:55 Every healthy marriage,
09:57 every healthy relationship has boundaries.
09:59 They may not be spoken.
10:01 They may be understood, but boundaries must be there.
10:04 Now, if you focus so much on the boundaries, you know,
10:07 you can miss the joy of the relationship,
10:10 but understand that it's okay to have a boundary.
10:13 So, you know, this is what we do together
10:15 as a couple.
10:16 An example of that would be like Christmas celebrations.
10:20 Sometimes it's important to establish
10:22 a separate Christmas celebration
10:26 for just the young couple
10:28 and then the broader celebration
10:30 may be with extended family.
10:33 That's one example of this.
10:34 There may be other examples that you can find
10:37 through worship services, all sorts of other things
10:40 that you do together, and then you do something additional
10:43 for the broader family.
10:44 But you have to establish that personal separate identity
10:48 in order to have a healthy family nucleus of your own.
10:52 That's right.
10:53 I think another step is to treat your spouse
10:56 with love and respect.
10:58 Now, that's an interesting thing to say
10:59 in terms of how do you relate to your in-laws.
11:02 But one of the greatest gift you can give your in-laws
11:05 is for them to see
11:07 that you are truly loving their child.
11:10 You know there is a little bit of a fear and trepidation
11:13 when a child gets married, are they really gonna be loved.
11:18 And I think also in situations where maybe,
11:21 there's not the greatest relationship
11:23 between you and your mother-in-law
11:24 or you and your father-in-law.
11:27 One of the things you can do is to simply show them,
11:31 you know, less by words more by actions
11:33 that you truly love their child.
11:36 And as they see that, if they love that child,
11:39 then they're gonna respond to that.
11:40 They will respond to it.
11:42 I think that's one of the things
11:43 that won your daddy over to me.
11:45 Yeah, it's true.
11:46 More than anything else,
11:48 he watched the two of us as we interacted,
11:51 and then it was fairly early on when he...
11:54 you know, he would talk about his impending death
11:56 fairly early on in my relationship with him.
11:59 He lived till he was almost 93, you know but back in this...
12:02 when he was in his 70s and 80s he would talk to me about this,
12:06 he said, "I want you to do my funeral."
12:08 And then he would, "Here's what I want you to say."
12:10 And he'd start to talk and then he get clouded up with tears,
12:13 and he said, "You'll know what to do."
12:16 And we had that conversation I bet 20 times.
12:20 But that conversation started when he saw that you and I
12:23 really were an item,
12:24 that we treated each other with dignity and with respect,
12:28 and then he had confidence in me
12:30 that I was, I would be okay.
12:32 That's right. That you'd be okay mainly.
12:33 So it was meaningful to him to know
12:35 that you really loved me, and you were taking care of me.
12:38 So if you have trouble with your in-laws,
12:40 one thing you can do is just simply love your spouse
12:43 in a way that they see.
12:45 And I guess that we need to take a break soon,
12:48 but I think the other thing
12:49 is just be son-in-law or daughter-in-law.
12:54 You know how to be.
12:55 Do the best you can to treat these in-laws with respect,
13:00 with love, demonstrate that to them
13:03 with words, with actions.
13:04 Yeah. Be the best you can be.
13:06 That's basically saying that the golden rule once again.
13:09 You know doing to others,
13:11 if you love the way Christ loved.
13:13 That's the ultimate gift to anyone that you could give
13:17 and to your in-laws certainly.
13:19 That's a good thought to stop with.
13:21 we're gonna take a break, we'll be right back after this.