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posted on November 19, 2013

Improving Relationships with In-Laws

A blissful marriage can hit the rocks if there are problems and discord with your In-laws. An over-doting mother to her son, or an overly enmeshed mother and daughter, is a recipe for disaster. When you marry, your spouse must be your first priority, and each person must make their parent aware they are no longer the first priority in your life.

1)  Let your spouse handle their difficult parent and discuss any sensitive subjects with their own family. They must speak up and defend you and your rules as a couple when it comes to holidays and child rearing.

2)  Keep out of fights between your spouse and their family. Don’t choose sides and don’t put your spouse in the middle. If your spouse doesn’t handle the issues in a timely manner, suggest they call a relationship coach.

3)  You cannot change or control your in-laws behavior. Accept them as they are and let your spouse try to change the dynamic and the rules to which they must abide. Do not react to their behavior; instead let your spouse handle it.

4)  It’s ok to be close with both your in-laws and your parents. Try not to favor one set over another, and fairly divide the holidays. After you have children, celebrate holidays in your home and invite the grandparents at a convenient time.

5)  Make your in-laws feel welcome in your home. Make sure your spouse helps you equally if you are entertaining them in your home. Provide opportunities for both sets of parents to get together with you.

6)  Make an effort to get to know your in-laws better by inviting them out to a breakfast or lunch and calling them on occasion. Once you have children, ask both sets of parents to babysit so they have quality time with your children and you and your husband have date time out of the home.

7)  If your spouse’s birthday falls on the same day as your parent, your spouse and their celebration comes first. Make a date at another time to treat your parent for a lunch or birthday dinner.

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