Reluctantly Related: Secrets To Getting Along With Your Mother-in Law or Daughter-in-Law by Dr. Deanna Brann is an important family resource for resolving differences between in-laws on a whole range of difficult and uncomfortable subjects. The author explains how to bring lasting change to these relationships which tend to be highly contentious at times.
Dr. Brann explains that the in-law relationships are artificial in that they are creatures of the law. In-laws are generally at different stages of life, and this is in great part the reason for contention. In-laws each carry some emotional baggage which only exacerbates bad feelings and ill will. In fact, some mothers-in-law have mixed feelings about their changed role with a son or daughter who was previously close and now is more distant.
Dr. Brann explains the necessity of establishing clearly definable boundaries with parents and in-laws so that expectations are more in line with reality. As such, a mother-in-law must understand her new role so that actions and words reflect true intentions and not unrealistic expectations. In this new relationship, a mother-in-law should treat the new extended family with respect. The important thing is to navigate this new relationship without making too many waves.
The author provides examples which demonstrate how humor can shift the power balance and “break the ice” for all parties involved. The book comes with extensive check lists and scoring keys so that users know how they are doing at various stages while navigating the text.
Reluctantly Related is an important treatise on how to deal with in-laws in a whole variety of contexts and difficult situations. The author provides clear guidance on how to deal with classic personality types. This is not the kind of advice that is written in a book. Instead, the contents typify the experiential domain of human relations.