Marriage: 7 Tips Maintain Good Relationship With Your In-Laws
A couple is made up of two people who have their own families of origin. For this reason, it’s normal that when you start a new relationship or a new family, your in-laws will also want to continue to participate in the lives of their children, to a greater or lesser extent.
It’s totally normal and very common. Partners may even want their parents to be part of and participate in activities together to bring the family closer together. After all, family always tends to play a fundamental role in our lives.
However, the fact that they are parents doesn’t mean that they have control over the life of the couple. Indeed, if they’re too involved, or not in the way they should be, it can cause serious conflicts.
Many in-laws are unhappy with their children’s partners, causing uncomfortable situations with their comments or attitudes. On the other hand, others can be annoying by meddling and trying to get involved in strictly personal issues.
However, the son or daughter may feel bad if their partner doesn’t get along with their parents, so it’s a two-sided problem. Therefore, ideally, you should maintain a good relationship with them.
How can you do that?
Here are some tips.
It is not just about respecting your in-laws, but also about your in-laws respecting you.
Indeed, your in-laws are a very important part of your life because they are the parents of the person with whom you’ve decided to share your life. Therefore, you should show them respect by being careful about what you say, your attitudes, and the way you express your opinions. You should try to avoid conflicts and misinterpretations.
If you think about it, as parents, they deserve that respect. Also, whether you like it or not, the fact that they’re the parents of your partner is something that won’t change, so you’ll always have a relationship with them. Also remember that if you hurt your in-laws, in some way, you’re also hurting your partner.
However, it’s also equally important that they respect you. If that’s the case, it’s important to determine what it is you want from the relationship and do your part to make it happen.
2. To get along with your in-laws: Don’t compare yourselves
Every father and mother is a different person and has raised their children in a certain way. In fact, your parents are surely different from your partner’s, and you were both raised differently. Therefore, you’ve received a different upbringing.
For all these reasons, you should avoid comparing your upbringing with that of your partner. Just because they weren’t the same doesn’t mean that one is better than the other, nor that yours were better parents than theirs.
Each parent raised their children in the best way they considered possible given their circumstances in life. Therefore, it’s better to choose the path of understanding and compassion and avoid negative comparisons.
Take the high road.
3. Harmony above all
A bad relationship with your in-laws, no matter the relationship they have with your partner, will always affect your partner. Even if they have a bad relationship, it will cause stress and discomfort. For this reason, unless your in-laws’ attitude is unacceptable, you might have to give in often for the good of your relationship and to maintain harmony.
Indeed, a relationship takes effort and dedication. Sometimes, you have to make certain concessions to make sure balance and serenity prevail.
4. Set limits and boundaries on your in-laws
We mentioned earlier that it’s important to make certain concessions. However, everything has a limit, and you need to establish clear boundaries to maintain a healthy relationship and prevent problems.
Thus, you should keep in mind that a relationship takes two people, the members of the relationship itself and that your in-laws don’t have decision-making power over your lives. Their opinion may be more or less welcome if you ask for it, but the couple should be making the decisions.
In fact, you should set limits so that they don’t feel like they can interfere more and more in your decisions and lives. Of course, you should always establish boundaries with respect and good communication.
5. Get to know your in-laws
It’s difficult to empathize, understand, or establish a good relationship with a person you don’t know. In this sense, it’s unfair to give someone the label of “father-in-law” or “mother-in-law” without first knowing that person.
For this, there’s nothing better than maintaining good communication with them, asking about them, their hobbies and tastes, etc. Only once know each other better can you establish a healthy relationship. Then, if a conflict is brewing, know how to avoid it or face it without hurting anyone.
6. Talk to your partner
If something about your relationship with your parents bothers you, it’s best to talk about it with your partner, always with respect and delicacy. That way, you can both talk openly and reach an agreement or solve problems before they grow too big.
Therefore, good communication with your partner is essential. Not only will it help you overcome discomfort and be more honest with each other, but it will make an ideal foundation to establish healthy boundaries with your in-laws. Remember: it takes two to make a couple.
Both sides have to make an effort to build a relationship and a new family. Thus, it’s important that you agree on certain matters and, among them, the relationship you’re going to have with your in-laws and their limits.
7. Maintain a healthy distance from your in-laws
The only way for you to maintain your relationship, intimacy, and bond without excessive pressure or intervention from your in-laws is to maintain a healthy distance.
Indeed, going out to eat all together from time to time, occasional visits, and other sporadic activities are very healthy and almost necessary. However, everything has a limit, and in-laws should not invade the life of a couple.
This is particularly important when you have children. Many in-laws, consciously or unconsciously, tend to invade your home and the children’s lives when their grandchildren are born. Because of this, many, based on their experience and age, may even criticize or tell you how to raise your children.
However, children require more direct guidance: their parents. Grandparents are always welcome, of course, but you should limit their involvement, opinion, and decision-making power. They’re your children, after all!
In short, the best way to get along with your in-laws is to get to know them to be able to empathize with them and maintain good communication. From there, you can establish certain boundaries based on respect and in favor of family harmony to allow for a truly healthy relationship.