What if cultural or ethnic backgrounds are the cause of problems with my in-laws?

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 17,874
    Family-law attorney John Spiegel explains how to deal with the challenges that come when there are cultural divides between spouses and in-laws.

    John Spiegel: My name is John Spiegel. I am a full time family mediator, we are talking in general about relationships with in-laws and in particular now, we are going to talk about the special challenges and special opportunities that can occur when there are cultural divides between yourself and your in-laws.

    Host: What if cultural or ethnic backgrounds are the cause of problems with my in-laws?

    John Spiegel: My overall thought about this is what a great opportunity you are presented with and you can think about it in advance. How you are going deal with it. Look, we live on a planet where there are so many different people. All you have to do it is think about an issue like global warming for a few minutes and you will realize that learning how to work cooperatively across cultural divides is absolutely necessary, for our species and so, why not take the perspective at a family reunion that, "hey I get to practice this absolutely essential skill without leaving home, that the multicultural reality of the planet is just going to come right to me, it's going to be landed right on my lap, and I get to figured it out. So, part of it is to truly get interested in the different culture and to want to learn about it, to ask questions with the term that let's people know like, I really want to know about this. I just think, it's a beautiful door that can open to having a richer life and part of multicultural interaction, is the possibility that mistakes will be made, because by definition you don't know the way of a land as well, what you do with your own group of people and so, accepting the idea that mistakes are going to be part of this and knowing how to clean up mistakes, which we will talk about.