Many marriages struggle when it comes to dealing with the in-laws. Marriage involves more than two people joining together. Two families also need to learn how to blend because you can't ignore your significant other's family forever. It may also be that the spouses of your siblings are the ones you struggle with. No matter where the issue lies, you can help to keep this relationship on an even keel. Here are a few tips on how to deal with in-laws:
- Always show respect even when your in-laws are not doing the same. Be courteous and remember that this is someone important to your loved one. At times you will have to let comments and actions just fall to the wayside. Although this is difficult, it may just get them to stop their improper behavior. When it doesn't, you can at least know that you didn't give them the reaction they were looking for.
- Communicate with your in-laws. When the situation becomes unbearable, don't put your loved one in the middle. Sit down with your in-laws and clear the air. Have your spouse there, but don't expect him to side with either you or your in-laws. Bring your issues to the forefront in a calm manner. Explain that not only does this hurt you, it hurts your loved one as well as your children. Although this may not result in any changes, you have openly expressed your concerns and this alone will help to ease the tension.
- Keep your relationship private. Do not discuss it with your in-laws at any time. When you do so, you may receive some unappreciated advice. It is best to keep your problems within your marriage.
- Set boundaries, but do so in a respectful way. When boundaries are clearly communicated, fewer conflicts will arise. Again, communication is key here so everyone knows what is expected of them.
- If the problem exists between your spouse and your parents, be supportive of your spouse. Find ways in which they can interact without the accompanying tension. This lets them know they are all important in your life and may help to reduce the conflict. Be sure that your parents understand you back your husband or wife, but are there for them also.
- Be pleasant at all times. Remember the saying about killing someone with kindness. Do so here. When you bend over backwards to please your in-laws, they will have less to complain about. Their attitude may even change. It never hurts to try.
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