Friday, November 22, 2013

"Michell's Weekly Pearl"...(how do I handle this)

advice column and a question on dealing with in laws
As always, I thank you for joining me for another edition of  "Michell's Weekly Pearl", where I seek to use Godly wisdom to offer encouragement. If this is your first time visiting, I'll tell you a little about my advice series. This is where you can ask me anything on marriage, women's issues, family matters, relationships, parenting, homemaking, or life in general. If you want an honest, biblically based, to the point answer, email me your questions via prowessandpearls@gmail.com (please put "MWP" in the subject area). I'll post your question, along with my answer, anonymously. Easy as that! I'll also delete your email once I've transferred your question. To read all the questions and answers in this series, you can do so (HERE).



Keep sending in those questions!!! In the meantime, read on to see what "How Do I Handle This" asked...


Hi Michele! With the upcoming holidays I’m a little torn.  You see my in-laws live out of town(8-10 hours away) and are coming in for Thanksgiving. The problem is they look down on me, well mainly my mother-in-law! Every since I married my husband over 13 years ago, I’ve never been good enough for her son.  My husband and I have two young boys who adore their grandparents, so I’ve never let on to them my relationship with their grandparents.  I’m torn because I have to stomach them for 2-3 days, but my boys on the other hand want to see their grandparents. How do I handle this?


Hi “How Do I Handle This”. Thanks so much for your question! And how fitting it is, as I know many families will be experiencing this for the next few months. The funny thing about holidays is that it brings out the “best” and the “worst” about “our families”! I often tell people to pick their battles and in your situation I must advise you to do the same! Not to make light of your situation, but to be honest with you, most parents(especially mothers) are like this with their sons…no one will ever be “good enough”, so try not to take it personally. You mentioned that your in-laws are out of town, so I’m assuming holidays are the only time “you” interact with them. You also mentioned that your sons adore them(which is what most grandkids do). With that being said, I say, as much as it may annoy you and you know how they she feels about you…you may have to be the bigger person.  Romans 12:18 says “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men”. I know it’s a big pill to swallow, but it’s the right thing to do. I’m not sure if your relationship with your in-laws will ever change, but you’re responsible to keep your heart right, so that if/when they come around(change their attitude towards you), you’re not harboring any hard feelings. Why, because God won’t look at them concerning your attitude towards them…He’ll look at you! So, with everything in you…you should be a gracious hostess. It doesn’t feel good at the moment, but believe me, you’ll have so much peace handling it this way. Besides, you’ve got…give or take, outside of the Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays, 359-360 days left before you have to see them again. The older your in-laws get, the fewer these visits will become. So let your sons enjoy them while they can and let their memories of them be good ones. Hope this helps! I know you’ll do great! Wishing you and your family a lovely Thanksgiving!

*Readers...do you have trouble with the in-laws during the holidays? If so, how do you handle it?

I’ve been married for over 24 years to my husband, a pastor. I’ve worked alongside him in ministry full-time for over 17 years. During that time, we've pioneered two ministries and I've established a women’s ministry(Women of Excellence). We have three adult children and a son-in-law.  My areas of specialty are family, marriage and women’s issues. Hopefully the (Godly)wisdom I’ve learned through my years of experience will lead you to and keep you on the road to doing you well!  As my husband always says...why spend your life going down a road you don't have to travel, when someone else has already learned the lesson and can show you how to avoid that path.  

*Disclaimer*: I don't profess to be an expert, but what I have learned...I'm willing to share.  With that being said...what I write on my blog is my opinion and advice. It is not my counsel. This also applies to anyone writing on this blog. If someone uses any advice, opinion or recommendation from this blog and is upset, angered, or harmed in any way, I am not to be held responsible or be held liable in any way. What I write on this blog is not to be taken as fact or absolute. My intention is to do no harm. The content in this blog is the opinion of this blogger and is not intended to disparage or malign anyone or anything that has the ability to be offended. I am not responsible, nor will I be held liable, for anything anyone says on this blog in the blog comments.

All Rights Reserved copyright© 2012-2013 Michell Pulliam “Prowess and Pearls” by Michell Pulliam













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12 comments:

  1. I'd also advise her husband to stick up for her if there are verbal digs or outright attacks. If 'mom' realizes that her son is 'all-in' with his wife, she might step in line. But that means her husband and she have to have frank conversations about the hurt his mother is causing, and be the protector he needs to be. A few kind replies from him, intervening on his wife's behalf, might be just what the situation needs.

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  2. Exactly April! I've shared that same exact point in an earlier question in this series. Being that they are his parents and he is the leader of the home, he should make the effort to stand up for his wife. In fairness to him, he might have done this and they(she) just won't budge. This may be one of the reasons they live so far apart from each other. Now if they lived in the same town, there would definitely have to be some boundaries set. I'm assuming because they live so far away and only see them frequently, they just leave well enough alone. Thanks so much for stopping by and chiming in and thanks for the BIG welcome! Blessings!! :-)

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  3. I co-sign April's 2 cents! I've had to listen to a potential sister in law with smart mouth comments before. Michell, you know ya girl will go toe to toe, but I couldn't imagine if that were his mother speaking that way. I'd feel disrespectful getting a mother together. He should handle that.

    I love your advice. This situation doesn't sound major. If its just stomaching them for a few days, I'd relve in the blessing of them being alive and getting to enjoy their grandchildren. That alone should warm her heart enough to push through 3 days. Now if they were local.....:)

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    1. Hahaha Joi!! I know you would girl! Agreed, if they lived nearby...we would have to have a serious "pow-pow". Me, MIL AND hubby! As always Joi, thanks for your input!!

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  4. I agree with all of the suggestions! Also, because I took so much, for so long, from relatives, I believe you should take your mother-in-law for coffee or tea-just a quick outing-and ask her why she dislikes you. I tell everyone how I feel and it relives me and them. Yep! You'd be surprised at how a sweet, but straight-forward conversation can change situations and attitudes. Let her know that you have been in prayer over her attitude toward you. Sometimes, we take for granted that folks know they are hurting us, when, in essence, they treat everyone this way. Their attitude has become a part of how they treat anyone who they don't see-fit to have in their circle. Tell her without crying or without a pissed-off attitude. You will feel better for getting your feelings off your chest and she will know how you view the relationship. Be sure to read the Scriptures Michell has suggested and stay steeped in prayer until their arrival and while they are here. You will be led to do what needs to be done, which may not be any of what we suggested. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers-Cynthia

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    1. Thanks Cynthia...great suggestion! A soft answer, does turn away wrath...that's what the Word says! :-) Thanks so much for chiming in my friend!!

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  5. I really like Cynthia's advice. Addressing things head on has it place. I certainly hope my relationship with future in-laws is a pleasant one. Good advice as usual Michell. Hope you and your family.

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    1. Yep Wanda, sometimes we just have to be straightforward with some folk, they just don't seem to "get it" until we do, lol!

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  6. April hit it on the head! Also as another poster said pull MIL to the side and have a conversation about her treatment of you.

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    1. Agreed Tarsha! You may be surprised at what you find out about why a person is treating you the way he/she does.Thanks so much for stopping by!

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  7. Great advice as always Michell!!! This was a PERFECT question before the holidays! I am blessed with my MIL and FIL!!! I actually get along with them BETTER than my own parents! LOL ;)

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    1. Hahaha, now THAT'S funny Chris! You sound so much like my husband, he said the same thing about my parents, lol! :-)

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Thanks so much for dropping by...I really appreciate it! Please check back for a response to your comment, as I post all responses to comments here on the blog, not via email. Please note, as this is a Christian blog...any comment that contains offensive and/or inappropriate language will be sent to the authorities...NAH, but seriously though, they WILL BE deleted. :-) Have a great day...I call you blessed! ;-)