Even if your in-laws are basically cool people and you all get along swimmingly from the start, the fact is that it’s hard to blend families. There are moral codes, traditions, time to manage, children to consider, etc., and all of that can lead to some muddy waters on occasion.
If you’re not lucky enough to have great in-laws, or people that you can find a way to enjoy spending time with, then these rules go double for you.
Remember: happy families don’t get that way without effort.
7. Adjust your expectations
You may have dreamed of a mother-in-law who laid out a huge holiday spread for the kids or a grandpa who would teach them to play ball, but if your in-laws aren’t into those things, you have to let it go. Adjust. There are surely many more opportunities for them to surprise you.
6. Work with your spouse, and never betray their trust
This should go without saying, but if you can support them, do it. Even if you struggle to get along with their family, it’s their family – don’t make them choose unless you’re ready to potentially come out on the losing side.
5. Be kind (and as mature as possible)
Your in-laws aren’t your parents – they don’t have to love you no matter what and they’re likely to question things your own mom and dad accepted a long time ago. Try to remember that, see things from their point-of-view, and bite your tongue before anything rolls off it that you can’t take back.
4. Decide what your boundaries and limits will be as a couple, then communicate them
You can’t expect your in-laws to stick to a strict bedtime or avoid too much sugar before sending the kids home if you don’t let them know what’s important to you and why. Give them a chance to respect your wishes.
3. Don’t try to change yourself
The flipside of #7 – don’t become Susie Homemaker if you’re not into that kind of thing, and don’t feel bad staying home to raise the kids if your in-laws are the high-powered jobs type. Be you, be nice, and they can take it or leave it.
2. Form your own relationships, and nurture them
Don’t ask your spouse to talk to your brother-in-law if he’s done something to upset you. Pick up the phone yourself to make plans to drop off the kids with your mother-in-law. They’re your family now, too.
1. Try listening without responding
You don’t have to take your mother-in-law’s advice about, well…anything at all. But she’ll be more apt to let it go if she feels as if you actually heard her suggestions and reasoning instead of just waiting to tell her no. Probably.
h/t: Family Education