by Oscar R. Mondragon
Getting Along With Your In-Laws
A Blend of Common Courtesy & Love
Getting married is like eating a cookie in which you know there is a raisin, but you eat it because there are also chocolate chips. There are good moments and bad, the exciting and the boring, and the topic of this article, your family and your in-laws’.
One of the most frequent pieces of advice people ask for in marriages include how people can keep the marriage strong and healthy – both by men and women. And the key to getting along with the whole family is by getting along with in-laws; ALL OF THEM.
Remember, not every brother-in-law is selfish, not every father-in-law is there to fix household stuff, sister-in-law to gossip, or mother-in-law looking to badmouth you, so the first marriage advice we can give you is to throw away the stereotypes. Adjust to the reality – not what Hollywood portrays.
Understand that Your Partner can Handle Them Better
You see your in-laws being weird to you, it is natural to want to try and resolve the issue without involving your partner. Just remember that what’s bugging you has been bugging your partner for a long time. They know how to handle it.
Discuss your issues with your partner and see how they learned to tune-out the haunts and live with them. Plus, they probably have lovely memories and anecdotes that may balance out their annoyances!
Negotiate Compromises, But Manage Expectations
Marriages often cross the 5 or 10-year mark on a foundation of compromises from both sides. However, when it comes to in-laws, compromising can become a bit difficult. Here, you need to talk to your partner about your stress and patterns complicated by “traditions.”
It’s better to discuss, rather than being chronically miserable. Don’t start whining or badmouthing, and for the love of all things Holy, don’t issue ultimatums – negotiate. Find a compromise and a stable ground to stand on for the both of you.
You don’t necessarily have to back down, but don’t be stubborn, either.
The in-laws have a way of spoiling children, asking for help or even loans. People think that the best way to get along with in-laws is to not say no to them. However, our years of experience offering marriage advice has taught us differently.
Saying no every time is a big no-no, but setting limits, e.g., allowing them to give just one or two candies a day to your child is how you tell them that you mean business. You’re letting them have their fun, but also keeping an eye on what’s important. Since at the end of the day, all of you are inclined toward the benefit of the child you love, it builds a certain rapport.
The goal is to work as a team with your in-laws and set family values.
Stay Funny - Don't Trap Your Sense of Humor
You might be used to your partner’s sense of humor and tune yourself to them, but in the process, you might end up losing your own. Have you ever heard the term “dad jokes?” Most people don’t get those.
Try to keep your sense of humor up and running and if anyone makes a joke, laugh it off instead of being offended. That’s a great way to get along with not just your in-laws, but everyone else as well!
If you’re about to see your in-laws during the holidays or are simply having trouble with them on the daily, we recommend you get in touch with our advisors today!