I Agree

It is interesting to see the results of various upbringings. Not to add any additional pressure onto new parents, but some things visibly translate into adulthood. My sister-in-law and I have become good friends over the past 13 years, but in the last year we have become really close. Confiding in each other and spending lots of time together. It has been really great. I can see now how awesome it must be to grow up with a sister. But for those of us without sisters of our own, there are always sister-in-laws down the road to make up for it.

My SIL isn’t big on the expression of feelings…..her brother is pretty much the same, thus my mention of seeing the results of various upbringings. My parents were incredibly loving, not just toward us, but toward each other. In fact I had no inclination that my father would EVER think of straying from their marriage due solely to the fact that he was so loving and affectionate toward my mom. They would snuggle and kiss and hug. Basically act like teenagers. And I loved it. That is what I was always used to. That was part of who I am.

I think any marriage of two people will result in blatant differences, but the showing of affection is definitely where Andy and I differ. After over a decade with each other it probably doesn’t need to be said that we’ve figured out how to coexist. We have found what works for us.

But when I look at his little sister I can’t help but try to replace some of what they lost out on when they were little. This isn’t at all to say their parents didn’t love them. They loved them quite well and obviously still do until this day. It is the expression of the love that they had difficulty with. So where I would come up to you and hug you to say ‘I am so glad to see you!’, Andy and his sister would stand four feet away and just say ‘hey’.

My SIL is in the baby stages of a new relationship. The guy is great. He is sweet to her and wants to spend all his time with her. I know she feels the same. The girl can go from being in her pjs talking about how tired she is, to fully dressed, made up and walking out the door in 30 minutes as soon as he gets off of work and calls to suggest they go somewhere. Her actions exhibit the level to which she likes him…..but her expression of said affection needs some work.

She is not one to bring up any sort of serious conversation, but luckily he did. About a week into it he could tell she was emotionally gun shy. He told her that he didn’t want her to feel like the relationship was going faster than she was comfortable with, but that HE personally would not be seeing other people. Now where some girls might get all excited and say something like ‘I don’t want to see other people either’, my SIL just responded ‘I agree’. When she told me about the conversation I was like ‘wow that is a big step, so you told him you won’t see other people?’ and she said ‘yeah….well….I told him I agree’. ‘you mean you just said “I agree”?’. ‘yes’. hmmm. I told her he might not know that actually means she agrees not to see other people.

A better example can be exhibited by a valentine’s day incident a while back. A fella she had been seeing for several months gave her a card with a hand-written note saying how much he had enjoyed the last few months and liked her a lot, etc. Her card to him said “Hola” on the front and nothing on the inside. She wrote ‘I think you’re great’…..ummm……

Well so it isn’t her fault obviously. The closest person to her was her brother. He raised her like a boy and so it’s no wonder that she expresses her emotions like a dude. But I am trying to get her out of her shell. To let her know that being emotionally vulnerable isn’t a bad thing. But I did joke with her yesterday that at her wedding her groom will be pouring his heart out during his vows, telling her how many ways he loves her and she will respond ‘I agree’.

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3 thoughts on “I Agree

  1. I love this post because it’s so true. H and I are both such a product of our parents and it becomes clearer every single day (for both the good and the bad). Good for you for trying to break your sister in law out of her bad habits. Sometimes you don’t even realize these things about yourself until someone points them out. She’s lucky to have you (and so am I).

  2. So very true! My husband’s family is incredibly affectionate (hugs and kisses) and mine is not. We show affection other ways but not in the form of PDA’s. Honestly we still struggle to come to terms with our different styles. It sounds like you SIL is lucky to have you figure it all out!

  3. I only learned how to act like a girl in my mid-twenties, when I met a friend who taught me how. I think the right girl friend can really help a lady open up, and there are good effects on all her relationships. So I agree–your SIL is lucky to have you.

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