This year I’m experiencing a new level of family-ties, having recently added two son-in-laws.  Granted, it’s only on the step-father level, but it’s still beginning to develop into a new marital challenge. I’ve noticed there are more conversations between mother and daughters now that the honeymoon is over. These are all non-DNA relationships as if that has anything to do with habits or abilities to get-along. However, I have somehow become part of these discussions, as my habits are now compared with their new husbands. It’s a personal violation of my space. For example, my son-in-law here in Portland was playing video games all day Sunday, and my wife commiserated by describing herself as a “football widow.” The topic of should the husband always accompany the wife to the grocery store was also bantered about? Hopefully, our sex lives won’t be compared!

I think that in the long run I’ll enjoy having son-in-laws if we can keep the wives from talking. I’m not sure exactly what we have in common yet, but that will come together over the many meals that we will share. They both seem to be better educated and more serious than I ever was at their age. Neither of them have the same sports interests that comes natural with my son. It will take a while for me to understand the nature of their careers. I also try to maintain a distant relationship with my wife’s daughters since their father is the primary male figure in their day-to-day growth. He will also most likely be the “favored” father-in-law simply because they are married to his daughters.

I doubt there will be grandchildren from either couple, having not married sooner. Both women are now in their late thirties and highly motivated in their careers. For me, three grandchildren through my son and his wife are more than I ever expected. I’m off to visit them in Florida in another month. I certainly enjoy spending time with my daughter-in-law that has brought a lot of joy into my son’s life. I’m sure she’s gotten an ear-full about me from my former wife in their discussions about the men in their life. 

I’ve added my son-in-laws to my family tree that includes a combination of extended, adopted, and genetic families. As I work on all these personal connections, it’s disturbing to know that we all will someday be just a memory to future generations. It’s good to adding living relatives rather than spending all my time trying to identify “strangers” that may or may not have had an influence in my life. As time goes on, I hope my new son-in-laws are as happy with their new wives as I am with mine. Please, just keep us out of the conversation!