My grandfather once told my mother that, when you marry someone, you marry their family.
In our society, we are very rooted in our families. We spend holidays with each other. With the continued advance of technology, we are able to stay more closely connected.
Family is the basic unit of society. Your spouse’s family is the single greatest influence in her life, for better or worse. Your family is the single greatest influence in your own life. We learn almost everything from our parents, including world views.
When you are seriously considering marrying someone, you need to be wise enough to look just beyond them. What are their friends like? What are their siblings like? How involved in their life are their parents? How do they interact with each other?
I know, as I’m sure you do, that there are exceptions to every rule, including this one. I’ve known a sane child living in a crazy family. But with our life expectancy going up, you will be around these people, and taking care of them, for a long time. In fact, it is not uncommon anymore for parents and their children to both be retired at the same time.
The bottom line is this; whenever you’re going to make a major life change, you need to do your homework. Communicate with your potential spouse the boundaries that you will have in place for each other’s parents and stick to them.