90: In-Laws or Out-Laws?
With a commitment to a partner, you have to be prepared for a relationship with in-laws. In some cases, they may seem more like out-laws, but it doesn’t have to be that way. There are always challenges that come surrounding how to celebrate holidays, how to raise kids, and other hot-button topics like religion and politics. Let’s take a closer look in this first of a two-part series about considerations for your relationships with in-laws.
Realize what you can appreciate
You may not like your spouse’s parents, which could consist these days of several couples since parents and stepparents are factored into the mix. They all have different opinions, methodologies, and traditions that can affect your marriage and how you raise your kids. Instead of focusing on the negative, try to find things that you can appreciate about them and their concern for your family. For one, they helped bring your “person” into the world, so express your appreciation. Try to understand the apprehension they have as parents when their child chooses a partner and forms a long-term relationship. All they want is to see their child loved, happy, and successful in all areas of life. Try to see the situation from their perspective.
Acknowledge that there will be differences
Every parent has their viewpoint about raising children, and your in-laws probably didn’t do things exactly like your parents did or the way you might choose for your family. Those differences don’t mean that only one person’s way is right. Try to gain perspective and understanding of their viewpoint and their desire to see the best for their children and grandchildren.
Assume the positive
Sometimes in-laws will come across as controlling or too involved when they want to help out, be included, and offer advice. Don’t shut them out. Try to assume that their intentions are good (crazy, toxic people excluded) and for your benefit until proven otherwise. Getting to know your in-laws can help you better learn how to support your partner as you understand their family dynamics. If you try to assume the best of their intentions instead of defaulting to the negative, the overall relationship will be more constructive and peaceful for everyone.
***Leave me your feedback. Let me know about your success with in-law relationships and the ways you plan to face the challenges moving forward. Improving your relationship fitness and solidifying your relationship legacy WILL make a difference. You are not just raising children, but someone’s future spouse and someone’s future parent. Go out there and be loving, kind, patient, and generous! Let’s help save the world--one relationship at a time!
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