The Well Magazine Fall/Winter 2013 - Page 24

In-Laws or Out-Laws? Your relationship with your in-laws can be a blessing rather than a curse children. I told him that the man who married my daughter has to have a college education,” Stewart said. “He said he was not love my mother-in-law. college material. I told him that you don’t know what you’re I joke and say that she is my mother-in-love. She has made of.” always treated me like her daughter and she has beStewart admits that she didn’t think Juakemo had enough come my other mother. I don’t take our relationship for “umph at first.” granted because I have heard But everything that her daughter horror stories and seen the pain, shared with him that she wanted damage and havoc that rocky in a husband, “he went about extended family relationships can that and pursued that, including bring to a family. a personal relationship with Jesus The influence of extended Christ,” Stewart said. families on marriages can be Today, Juakemo and Carletta positive or negative. What many have been married 15 years and people fail to realize when they have an 8-year-old son, Joshua. get married is that they are not Stewart doesn’t consider him as just marrying a person, but a her son-in-law but as her son. family. During the holidays, “God told me to treat him as a these relationships can become son, not a son-in law,” Stewart especially strained when there are said. “I’m telling you he’s exfamily gatherings to attend, deciceedingly and abundantly more sions to be made about where than what I could have asked and how to spend the holidays God for. He is absolutely an My two mothers: Twenty-one years ago at our engagement and sometimes difficult relation- party. To my right, my mother, Leola Copeland and on my left, amazing person.” ships and past hurts to navigate. my mother-in-law, Gwendolyn Clincy. And Juakemo looks at Stewart as Some people are in love with his very own mother. When his their in-laws and have been welcomed with open arms into own mother died about 15 years ago, Stewart stepped in. “She’s their spouse’s family. For others, the in-laws are outlaws—the just my mother,” he said. source of constant consternation, pain and sometimes even the “I think that having a good relationship with my mother-incause of marital dissolution. law has been very instrumental in my life,” Griffin said. “We But there is hope. Lessons can be learned from those who had to get to a certain point. It didn’t start that way. I thought have had smooth sailing in their in-law relations and those who she had some prejudices about me and the side