Realize your in-laws are different people with different ways. There may be times when you disagree with your in-laws, but that is because they are from a different time and grew up with beliefs that you may not have. Respect what they stand for. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, but do it civilly and listen to what they have to say.
Make an effort. Spend time with your in-laws and make an effort to create lasting memories with them. They are important to your spouse, and he or she will appreciate you working towards building relationships with them.
Set boundaries. You may not be okay with your in-laws stopping by without notice or feeding your children six scoops of ice cream. Politely make these issues known. Talk them over with your spouse and create an environment where you all can function happily.
Be kind. Acts of kindness are often the best ways to break the ice. If you feel tension with you in-laws, do something nice for them.
Separate your spouse from your in-laws. Just because they are your spouse’s parents, does not mean they are your spouse. Your in-laws actions, words and beliefs are not those of your spouse. Don’t let these things come be a barrier in your relationship.
Keep communicating. A miscommunication can cause problems with in-laws. Make sure you continue to talk and clarify any disagreements.
Don’t take it personally. At the end of the day, your spouse is still your in-laws’ child. It can be hard for them to accept you into their lives at first. Take unkind comments with a grain of salt and be patient. Your in-laws need time to get used to your presence.
Learn to cool off. Fighting with in-laws is never a good idea. A better solution is to get some space, go do something relaxing and cool off.
Have a sense of humor. Sometimes issues come up and all you can do is laugh. Find the humor in difficult moments with in-laws. For example, if you find your mother-in-law criticizing you often about little things like dirty dishes in the sink, find humor in the way you may have looked scurrying between rushing home from work, dropping the kids off at their activities and how your busy schedule kept you from them.
Know yourself. If you’re having a hard time with in-laws, keep moving forward. Know yourself and your values. Your in-laws will respect you for your confidence and stability.
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