The most profound thing we have to offer our children is our own healing.
I am good-looking, intelligent, generous and infinitely patient just like my father was. I also have that earth-connection, good nature and the physical sturdiness my mother gave me. Yet, my father left me a homework he couldn't finish himself, a bi-polar mood imbalance. My mother also bequeathed me her shyness and lack of determination to take matters into her own hand. So be it! Perhaps it was facing these challenges that launched my spiritual path. On it I had to learn to work with the other 50 percent of my being that I had somehow neglected all my life, my feelings side. Walking the WAY also encouraged me to become bolder, more assertive and goal oriented.
Whether I will get my homework done in this lifetime, only GOD knows. What I do know, however, is that I would be damned If I didn't try my best to leave this earth with a clean slate. For otherwise my boys would have to shoulder this homework instead, and that doesn't seem fair. Take a good look around; your parents are you. Your partner is your in-laws, hard to accept as it is. Perhaps thats why you struggle so much with your in-laws because subconsciously you know how much you and your loved one have to work to make this holy alliance work out.
Had you told me this theory twenty years ago that we are our parents and that our children are us, I would have laughed at you. Yet, it is true. So why don't you make a list of everything you appreciate about your parents, and then get started on the few things that still can be improve upon. Especially if you have children as well, now is the time to give them the very best of you!