Do you get along with your in-laws? What can you do if you don’t?
When we say our “I do’s” we say them for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, and whether we like the in-laws or not! It’s the truth. We are not only marrying our partner but we are marrying into his/her family as well. So what happens when conflict arises (because it inevitably will at some point) between you and the in-laws? Do you speak up or expect your spouse to diffuse the situation?
There are so many variables that come into play when it comes to an in-law dispute. Was it a one time incident? Or has it been building up for awhile? Did it affect you directly? Are you inserting yourself into a situation that doesn’t involve you but you want to defend and protect your spouse? While there are so many different equations and dynamics, in the end, the answer is always the same: Communication. Whether you feel comfortable to express hurt feelings, or your spouse confronts the situation, or maybe you call a “family meeting”- at the end of the day, you all need to express how you feel in a calm manner in order to move forward. Communication helps not only prevent future incidents from occurring again, but it also can strengthen your relationship.
Notice how the above tip included the word “calm.” Don’t be so quick to react. In the heat of the moment, we immediately get defensive or say things we might regret. It is important to take a deep breath and handle the situation in a thoughtful manner. The last thing anyone wants is a fight that results in permanent ramifications.
Defining boundaries is also incredibly important, especially when children are involved. Sometimes our parents go the unsolicited advice route, that is never the answer. You are the parent. You make the decisions. Boundaries need to be made so that everyone is given the respect that they deserve.
At the foundation of your relationship, there is love. Even when things with your in-laws get tough, remember the love that is there. Use that foundation as a reminder that is important to repair and strengthen the relationship.
Talk offline first
Before you react, talk to your spouse first. You are a team and make sure you are both on the same page with how you want to handle the situation.
Take a deep breath
If you react in the heat of the moment, you might say something you regret. Take a deep breath, step back, and reflect on the situation first.
I can’t tell you how many times I have opened my heart to my husband’s mother only to be met with her and her sister cackling and asking me obvious shade questions, then winking at each other. I decided that I would give her a taste of her own medicine so, she came up to our vehicle after I accompanied my husband for a trip to see their gift card grandma and I simply ignored her. I was wrong but, after 7 years of letting her in, I needed her to see herself and to see that I would not tolerate it anymore. It’s funny how a taste of your own medicine shuts you down because now, she has not spoken to her son, my husband since. Ieven recently went to his father’s birthday party (he is remarried) and his sister was over and she and her daughter were ignoring me.
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