Professor Geoff Greif, UMSSW PhD Graduate Judith Leitch, and Associate Professor Michael Woolley have co-authored "A preliminary look at relationships between married gays and lesbians and their parents-in-law: Five case studies." that has been published by the Journal of Gay and Lesbian Social Services.
With marriage between lesbians and between gays now legal in the United States, it is important to gain an understanding of how in-law relationships function for this population. Five case studies, part of a larger study of in-law relationships, are presented that help further knowledge of the potential obstacles that some couples may face in relation to their in-laws. Common experiences include relationships improving over time; struggling with acceptance; feeling closer to parents-in-law because other adult children or adult children-in-law have fallen out of favor; recognizing the significant role that the child-in-law’s spouse plays in the relationship between the child-in-law and the parent-in-law; understanding the role that the larger community plays; considering both parents-in-law as separate voices in the in-law dyad; and experiencing feelings of ambivalence that arise between family members. Practice implications for clinicians are included as are implications for future research.