Building Healthy Relationships with your In-Laws
In-laws are a very important part of married life. At the very least, they provide a sense of belonging and offer support through life’s changes.
If you establish a good relationship with your in-laws in the early years of marriage, that relationship will carry over into parenthood and later years.
This doesn’t mean that you’re doomed if your relationship with your in-laws didn’t start out well. It is never too late to start nourishing your family ties.
Conflict with family members is usually the result of blurred boundaries. If you want to have a healthy relationship with your in-laws, you need clear and appropriate boundaries.
Your relationships with family members need to be completely different from what they were before you got married. This is the whole point of leaving your parents and cleaving to your spouse.
For starters, separate your relationship with your in-laws from your relationship with your husband or wife. Your feelings towards your in-laws should not dictate or affect your feelings towards your spouse. You should remain kind and loving towards each other regardless of the actions of your family members.
You and your spouse should decide on the boundaries you’d like to set with your family members and then communicate those boundaries to them directly. If an in-law does something that bothers you, address it immediately. If your mother-in-law drops by unannounced, let her know that you’d appreciate it if she’d call before coming over because that way, you can spend time with her without feeling rushed and give her your undivided attention.
Never Stop Trying
It’s very tempting to give up on having a healthy relationship with your in-laws, especially if they’re not meeting you halfway. Sadly, giving up won’t help.
There’s nothing wrong with taking some time to cool off because time heals many wounds. However, be mature about it.
Realize that your in-laws are not obligated to love you at first sight like your parents. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that they can’t learn to love you with time.
Family ties are an important of married life. And while they don’t always start out well, with time, they can grow into balanced and healthy relationships.