The thing is that navigating a relationship with your in-laws is hard work. Suddenly after years of being your own person, you’ve to rewire some part of yourself to incorporate your spouse’s family too. On some level, most people struggle with this dynamic but that in no way means that they’ve got an unhealthy relationship. Some people may get annoyed with habits like interfering in the couple’s personal life, some people struggle because they feel unaccepted and sidelined while others feel their in-laws are overly critical of their spouse.
If you can resonate with this or are in line to get married, we’ve got some pointers to keep in mind when trying to build a healthy relationship with your in-laws.
Note these down because trust us, they’ll come handy one day.
Comparing two sets of parents is never beneficial for anyone, every person is different and comes with their own cultures and practices. Once you accept this, you can accept the good qualities they have to offer.
Your in-laws have played a significant role in your spouse’s life, they’re the ones who have shaped them and brought them up. Respecting them for that and making the due efforts is needed. You could participate in family events, check up on them regularly and try to be present even if you don’t fully understand the family dynamics yet.
Maintaining healthy boundaries is important in all relationships but more so with in-laws. Talk to your partner openly and honestly about what makes you uncomfortable, what kind of understanding you need and create a plan that you both agree with. Like if you are comfortable with having your mother stopping by unannounced but your partner isn’t, have a ground rule that relatives must call before coming.
This is very important for maintaining the status quo at home. You’ve got to separate your relationship with your partner from your relationship with your in-laws. You’ve got to remember that however complicated your in-laws maybe, you aren’t married to them.
While many times we can’t stop our in-laws from talking, we do have control over implementing what they’ve said in our daily life. So if your mother-in-law is telling you how to raise your child, you can’t stop them from giving advise but you can choose to pay attention to it or not.
You may have been brought up in an environment where your parents aren’t that demanding but your spouse could need to talk to his mother or father daily. Understanding that that is their personal matter is essential. You’ve got to give respect as you hope to receive it.
The best gift you can give each other in a happy and healthy marriage is open and honest communication. Even if an uncomfortable situation arises, instead of being aggressive, passive-aggressive or avoidant, having a talk about it will just make it better.
One thing to understand is that at the end of the day your parents, as well as your in-laws, are only human. They come from their own sense of understanding of the world and they make meaning in their own way. Try to understand where they’re coming from and show them empathy.
Just remember that new relationships always take some time to adjust to, you’ll find your rhythm too.
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