Dealing with the Inlaws: Her Parents
Dealing with the inlaws is part of being married. Your relationship with your wife’s parents can have a lasting effect on your marriage. In fact, studies show that when a man has a great relationship with his wife’s parents, the risk of divorce decreases by 20 percent.
Women value their family and friends greatly. When a husband is close to his inlaws, his wife feels more connected to him. Their close relationship makes her feel reinforced and validated. Thankfully, it is a lot easier for a man to get along with his inlaws than it is for a woman. Husbands rarely worry about inlaws interfering in their marriages and also rarely see such interference as a threat to their happy marriage.
Get to Know your Inlaws
As a husband, you need to get to know your inlaws in order to have a good relationship with them. This will require spending time with them and learning about their interests. Don’t limit your interactions with your wife’s parents to holidays only. In fact, holidays are not the best time to try and get to know your inlaws because they are likely very stressed. Spend time with them socially if possible.
When dealing with inlaws, it is best to avoid controversial topics like religion and politics, unless you are very sure they share your views. These topics often lead to heated debates and it is not a good idea to debate with your wife’s parents. Have light conversations that all of you enjoy and can contribute to.
Keep Things Civil
No matter how infuriating your wife’s parents are or how much you want to scream “I hate my inlaws,” keep things civil. If you have a serious issue with them, discuss it with your wife but steer clear from personal attacks. Even if your wife complains about her parents, listen but refrain from speaking ill of your inlaws. Unless you can be very objective with your contribution, she is bound to be offended. They are her parents after all and her first response will be to defend them.
Maintain a Safe Distance
It is not always possible to be best friends with your wife’s parents especially if they are keen on interfering in your marriage. In such cases, you may need to set boundaries. For instance, don’t allow your inlaws to use the kids as an excuse to show up at your home whenever they please. Show them that you are in charge of your family and tell them that you would appreciate if they asked you before coming over.
One way to show your wife that you care for her is to make an effort to get along well with her parents. While this isn’t always easy, the above tips can come in handy when you are dealing with the inlaws.