5 Tips for Communicating with the In-Laws

The In-Laws can be a touchy subject, and dealing with them is more about you and your spouse than about your better half's parents. If your parents or in-laws are butting in your personal like, then there are gentle ways to deal with the situation so that everyone will get along in the end.

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1. When it came to discussing family issues, we discussed them with our respective parents. For example, my family kept asking when we would have children. I would communicate to them that we were not ready at the time, and gently let them know we did not want to be pressured about it.

2. Determine that you and your spouse will always have each other's back. You may not like his family and the way he deals with them, but you always have to agree on each topic and project a united front when dealing with family. You may not agree when you are at home, but when in public and in front of family, you must stand by the other. Once they realize that you are together on every issue, they will usually back off.

3. Predetermine the holidays you will spend with family. Will you rotate the holidays? Will you see his family one year, and your family the next? Letting your respective families know ahead of time will help keep the peace, and give families the opportunity to prepare for the holiday with and without you.

4. If your parents are giving unsolicited advice, then I would suggest that you sit down with them and have a heart to heart discussion. In a loving and respectful way, explain that you are an adult and that you will be happy to ask for advice when you feel like you need it. You need to have the freedom to make decisions on your own.

5. When there is still tension and strife between the married couple and the in-laws you may need to sit down and talk things out. With respect speak about what is troubling you, and allow the in-laws to talk about what is bothering them. Communicating is the best way to resolve any conflict, and to bring resolution to a situation.

This short list will not fix all of your family problems, but it helped me forge a new relationship with my in-laws. I wish you all the best.


(I am not a licensed counselor or psychologist, just someone who has been there before.)

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