It is always good to respect our in-laws. Calling them “family-in-love” and in other better names won’t do us any good unless we face the reality of life and facing the challenge head on!
The following ten points, in my opinion, are very beneficial to look at, especially for married couples who have been married from five to seven years so that they can protect their marriages from unwanted or unexpected conflicts.
- Don’t try to impress your in-laws – rather be yourself. Let them know you well and try not to overwhelmed them when you try to let them know you.
- Respect family rules, (spoke or unspoken rules) even if you don’t agree with the rules, still respect them. For example, if you spouse’s family want to meet once a month, let your spouse go. This might be very important for them and maybe, eventually your spouse may stop going or their meeting will continue.
- When issues arise from your family side, be the one to talk to your family, not your spouse (the same is true for your husband; when the issues starts from your spouse’s family side, let your spouse talk to his/her family).
- Do not involve your in-laws in your marital issues as much as possible; if you’ve already involved them, try, slowly, to separate the extended family member from your marriage.
- Don’t try to be the one to change your spouse’s family dynamic – just know them and go with the flow – if they don’t like to be on social media, for instant, don’t post their pics on social media saying, “My lovely mother and father-in-love!” I mean, it’s nice and from the outside, it may sound good and people may think nice of you but for your in-laws, it may rub them the wrong way and they may find it hard to be honest with you about their feelings.
- Let your spouse tell you who his/her families are and their personalities and follow suit – don’t try to be the wisest person to handle them well – you will make a mistake or you will be mislabeled or misunderstood by them.
- If any of your-in-laws don’t like you, don’t fight to be liked. Just respect their stand and accept the reality and move on. Truth be told, we all have people that we just don’t get along with and don’t want to be with. It is okay. The Bible doesn’t say “Live in love with everybody.” But it says, “Show proper respect to everyone” (1 Peter 2:17) and “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Romans 12:18)
- Do not gossip about your in-laws to your children (nor in front of them). Remember, your-in-laws are related by blood with your children. You are the one who is not related with them. Respect that relationship. Instead of trying to make your kids to take your side (in case of erupting issues), leave your kids out of it. If you have to talk, talk to your spouse privately or talk to your friends or anyone who can help you – if there is one or more than one nasty person in the family, let that person’s personality introduce itself to your children. Believe me in this: Your kids know what is going on and they will decide who to avoid and who to live with when they grow up. Leave that decision to them.
- If your children come to you asking you about your-in-laws that is not good to you, speak only the good side of that relationship. If your child says, “I don’t want to go to her home,” you have to say to your child something like, “But you have to celebrate your cousin’s birthday.” When your kids mention the wrong thing about that nasty person that you are very familiarize with, you focus on the positive side so you protect your children’s mind and emotion. Gossiping about your in-laws or about anybody to your kids make your kids hate you in later time. Make note of that! So, be very careful!
- All these can work perfectly only if you and your spouse are on the same page, work in unison, always protecting your marriage, children and each other from a family member who may have ill intent. ///