I come from a messed up family.  My parents divorced when I was young and both of my parents have remarried more than twice.  To say that there wasn’t a lot of stability in my home life is an understatement.  I never felt like I was being taken care of. I never felt like I had parents who had my back.  Unit I met my wife’s family.

I remember falling in love with her parents the day she brought me home to meet them.  They were this amazing couple who were still in love after so many years of marriage.  They loved their children and were so accepting of me from the beginning,

They welcomed me into their home and quickly took the role of parents in my life.  My friends made fun of me when I didn’t participate in the “in law” jokes.  I felt so lucky to finally have unconditional love and guidance in my life.  They loved my children and were great grandparents.

I didn’t make a professional move without my father in law.  He was my mentor and advised me accordingly.  I saw them at least once a week for dinner and they often took our kids for the night so my wife and I could have a break.

When my marriage began to dissolve, I was heartbroken.  How could I tell these wonderful people what I was feeling and how could I risk losing them? I was more concerned about losing these people from my life than I was about the dissolution of my marriage.

I insisted that my wife and I try everything possible to save our marriage. We did and it didn’t work out.  I remember the night we told her parents and it was devastating to me.  It was as bad as telling our children.  They were hurt and sad and I remember telling them that I would still be the same son in law if they would have me.  They assured me that they loved me and would always have a relationship with me.

But blood is thicker than water and as our divorce unravelled, so to did my relationship with her parents.  Obviously losing my marriage was difficult but I can honestly say that losing my inlaws has been worse for me.

I think people often overlook how many relationships suffer as a result of a divorce.

Stan, 44

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