4 ways to deal with in-laws
When you marry your spouse, you’re also marrying into their family and vice-versa. Your in-laws play a vital part in your life because of their importance to your spouse and essentially because they are now your second family.
However, not all in-laws are the easiest to get along with. While some may regard you as their own, some are indifferent towards you and others may even come between you and your spouse.
Nonetheless, your in-laws are now part of your family. It is therefore important to make the effort to build the relationship with them and cultivate family harmony. Here are four ways to do so:
Take the initiative to strike up conversations
Be it at home, during visits or through the phone, always take the initiative to strike up conversations with your in-laws. Keep up with them and their lives even if you’re staying on your own. This helps you to build a strong bond with each other beyond the occasional pleasantries. This also shows a genuine interest in forming a relationship with them.
Learning to accept one another - help to bridge the differences
Just as you accepted your partner for who he/she is, it’s also important to accept your in-laws for who they are. This can possibly prevent future misunderstandings, arguments or even family disharmony.
Trying to accept your in-laws for who they are may also help you manage your expectations of them and adapt to the family environment accordingly. However, this does not mean that you are to always give in to them solely to maintain family harmony.
Establish reasonable boundaries for both to understand
On that note, take the time to establish boundaries, if needed. For example, let your in-laws know that impromptu visits without prior notice are not favourable. Or, when it comes to your children or future children, be sure to discuss the roles each will be playing. For example, let them know what are the non-negotiables such as over promising them with treats, toys or gadgets.
Be on the same page with your spouse
When it comes to dealing with your in-laws, you and your spouse have to be on the same page. Because both of you will feel differently towards your respective in-laws, being on the same page ensures that any possibilities of miscommunication and bruised feelings can be avoided.
On that note, be sure that both of you are also on the same page when it comes to arguments or heated discussions, if any, with the in-laws. You should either agree to not get involved as it might only add fuel to the fire on both sides, or agree not to put your spouse in the spot such as demanding they choose between their in-laws and you, or expecting them to defend you regardless of the situation.
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