The Law is not the issue
The problem with legalism is that it leads to the perspective where God is viewed through legal eyes. The emphasis becomes The law of God, instead of the God of the law.
Happy relationships focus on people, not their rules. Rules surround every relationship but they are not the main focus, they are subliminal, understood, but not highlighted. The moment they have to be spoken tension enters the relationship. Happy relationships focus on character and personality. This is what establishes relationships.
Somebody may say, "but we know God's character through his rules." In taking this perspective they disrespect Jesus Christ and negate the greatest revelation of God. The rules tell you God's limitations for carnal man, but it is ONLY in Jesus Christ that we see God's true character and personality. This is where we learn to love and to know him.
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ." (2Cor 4:6)
"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." (John 1:17)
Police, judges, adminisrators are not considered friends. Their duty is to defend and enforce law and therefore, people tend to approach them with caution, and only when necessary.
The law emphasis has produced people of the law rather than people of God.