Your in-laws are a crucial part of you and your spouse’s life. As such, creating family harmony is essential. Note the following
Work with your spouse
According to www.familyeducation.com, dealing effectively with in-laws starts with first working conflicts through with your spouse. Remember, you’re in this together.Never put your spouse in a situation where he or she has to choose between you and a relative. If you do so, you’re putting your spouse in a nearly impossible bind. Instead, try to understand the bond your spouse has with his or her family. If possible, try to support that relationship. Even if your spouse has parents from hell, they are his or her parents.
Don’t share your marital problems with your parents
One of the biggest mistakes that couples make is sharing their relationship issues with their respective families. You fix problems in a marriage within a marriage — not by turning away from your partner and toward your parents. You can love your parents and have a rich, active relationship with them without involving them in your marriage. If you vent to your parents every time you’re angry or hurt, they’ll build a case against your partner. You and your spouse may make up, but your folks will still remember.
Don’t be a right fighter
Do you always need to be right during an argument? Even if your in-laws are clearly in the wrong from your perspective, the way you react to a situation could inflame it and overshadow your position. Take the moral high ground and learn to compromise during a disagreement.
Set boundaries and limits
With your spouse, decide what’s important and what’s not. Work as a team, set your family values and communicate same to your in-laws. Speaking of boundaries, don’t make promises that you can’t keep.Placating people to keep the peace rarely solves the problem — especially if your in-laws are tyrants. Without being as inflexible as a teenager, stick to your guns.
Agree to disagree
No matter what you do to try to make your point, remember that you are not going to win every argument, if any at all. As hard as it can be, sometimes you just have to agree to disagree. Family feuds can be hurtful to everyone, not just the couple of people that are disagreeing. If one, or even a few of your in- laws are especially nasty with you, always be gracious so it can be obvious who is fuelling the fires.
Take deep breaths
When you’re about to reach a breaking point, take a break to breathe. Find a quiet spot like a bathroom, or go for a walk. While breathing, focus on the positive aspects of your in-laws such as they truly love your children and remind yourself that you can’t control or change them.Your in-laws are important to your spouse, and they’re part of your life. It’s up to both of you to find a way to make time with extended family as enjoyable as possible.
Whenever possible, avoid communicating through a third party. Don’t ask your spouse to talk to his sister about something she did that hurt your feelings. Talk to your sister-in-law directly.
If something bothers you, address it as soon as possible.
Get on with the programme
Don’t expect what people can’t deliver. Learn to see the situation from your in-law’s point of view. And even if you don’t agree, act like a big person.
Your parents have to love you; it’s in the contract. But your in-laws don’t. Accept the fact that your in-laws aren’t your parents and won’t follow the same rules. Try to think ‘different’ — not ‘better’ or ‘worse.’ To make this work, give in on small points and negotiate the key issues. Also, be kind. Even if you have to grit your teeth, try to say something nice and if you really can’t say anything nice, shut up and smile.
Remember it’s only an opinion
It helps to remember that much of what we are told is an opinion, and not the truth. So if your mother-in-law says you should feed your son a different diet, remember that you don’t have to follow it and don’t see it as a critique of you. While we can’t stop an in-law from talking, we can control how we hear them.
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