Many at times, young lovers confuse their lonely hours for the future. They been caught up in the romance, forget, marriage is beyond two happy pairs sitting on a garden sit throwing hands in slow-motion. When young lovers finally get ready for serious business; they then realize; forming a relationship with almost every family member is a requirement, and dealing with in-laws can become dicey.
Here are 11 ways to have an easier relationship with your in-laws. 1. Visit your in-laws. 2. Send them gifts. 3. Help with chores. 4.Interact with in-laws. 5. Take photo with them. 6. Talk to them on phone. 7. Be polite to in-laws. 8. Exercise patience when offended. 9. Fix her hair. 10. Wish them Mother’s or Father’s Day. 11. Take them as your family.
Tips for Managing Your In-Laws
Although some in-laws can be tough to handle, others are kinda easy go to. Remember, in-laws are not only limited to immediate family members.
But before you go all the way out to extended family; you should establish a good connection with immediate family.
TD Jakes said in a sermon, “the biggest lie I ever told my wife was, it is just us.” He later realized; when you marry, you married the entire family.
Visit your in-laws
Beginning of everything is very essential to its growth. If you are in relationship with a person you plan on marrying; make it a must to visit him or her. Most importantly, visit her parents.
While this may not be often, it is necessary to know the kind of home your partner is coming from. This will influence your decision a whole lot than you think.
If your in-laws to be will accept you as one of them or not, it will show on your visit. You don’t need to spend a night or two, but do so if you can.
I am not suggesting you travel there all by yourself. Let your partner take you home.
While the visit may introduce you to your partner’s true culture and upbringing and help you know your in-laws feeling; it will also help spy on him or her.
Definitely, spying on your partner is not what you want to incorporate in your relationship, yet, you must know whom you dealing with on the inner side too. If he or she has husband or wife, you may get to know on your vacation.
If you are already married, it is also necessary to pay visit to your in-laws to keep the connection.
Send them gifts
Its not in size, but in heart. It’s a sign. It’s a gesture. You are not trying to buy them out or save them from hunger.
This present only creates a bond between you and the family. It shows how much you have them in your heart and think of them. It also assures them that their child is in good hands.
I don’t mean you should go for what you cannot afford or borrow to do this, if it is in your capacity, that’s fine. You shouldn’t pressure yourself into buying for others, this only creates vulnerabilities in your relationship.
Types of Gifts to Give In-laws
The image below shows some of the items presented to my parents by my younger brother’s girlfriend and one of my elder brother’s wife on their visit.
As mentioned, you are not coming to change their lives with your gift. It is just to make them happy. So, anything small can do.
Help with chores
When you pay visit, don’t come to hide in your boyfriend or husband’s room for days and return.
Participate in ongoing activities even if you are not good at them. Don’t be shy to tell them what you can do and cannot do. For instance, take them to farm, prepare food, sleep the compound, fetch water etc.
Interact with in-laws
Even if you are introvert, engage with them. Find a space to communicate with your in-laws or in-laws to be. It will make them comfortable and they will feel happy. When you isolate yourself, it gives negative impression about you.
Take photo with them
I don’t advise early couples to do this but if you feel safe and confident of your relationship, then you can go ahead.
For a married man or woman, this is your family, you might want to feel at home and act so. This only draws you closer to this new family and creates a stronger bond.
Talk to them on phone
My brother’s (Henry) wife, Dziedzom, speaks with mom almost all the time. At the hour I started writing this article, I heard them talking over the phone.
Be polite to in-laws
You should learn to be humble when dealing with in-laws. We are different and have been raised in different homes. We also have come from different background and our culture varies even in same country.
It is therefore necessary to have knowledge of what is appropriate to your in-laws when engaging with them. Being polite will help you identify their values and norms.
Exercise patience when offended
Don’t let anger come between you and your in-laws. Do as much as you can to make peace prevail between you. What may be offensive to you may not be to your in-laws, this can cause conflict easily. Don’t rush to respond to everything which you are not comfortable with, it will only create unnecessary tension.
Fix her hair
If you are a hairdresser or just have little knowledge in it, you can help style your mother in-law’s her when you are around. Or take her to the saloon.
Wish them Mother’s or Father’s Day
Frankly speaking, my elder brothers and their wives will always want our parents to be happy during these occasions. They call to wish them either Mother’s or Father’s Day. At times send money for a little party.
Take them as your family
As crazy as they may be, you have crazy folks in your family too. Do your best to take them as your family. This will not mean tolerating inhuman treatment from them.
Problems posed by in-laws
As said, dodging the family involvement is almost impossible when coming together as couples. This can make relationship a lot harder when one part of the family disagrees with their child’s decision to form a union with the man or woman.
When this happens, it affects the marriage if both parties ignored family warnings and proceed with their decision. Some in-laws stick with their initial decision no matter the choice of their son or daughter.
This can even prolong as far as into old age of both parties. For example; my mother, Irene, is still not the choice of my father’s mother. And his younger brother, my uncle, also once advised him to divorce his wife.
Some parent in-laws can be very demanding. Marrying their child means taking up their responsibilities and burden for life.
At times, you may run into tough in-laws who will be disrespectful and have ill manners. They do everything possible to create conflict and drama.
Parents want the best for their children. This gets even deeper when these parents are educated and rich. They don’t want anything less for their children, so, if you are marrying their child; they want to be sure you are not a gold digger.
What can be difficult in marital home is having your in-laws poking nose into your affairs. Having your parents control your marital life can be disturbing and it can be more nerve wracking when you have in-laws who want to call every shot in your marriage.
In-laws living with you
Things can become more complicated when your in-laws stay with you or you live in a family compound. This may increase the chances of having misunderstanding with your in-laws.
How do I Deal with My Disrespectful In-laws?
Keep being nice
At first, don’t jump into conclusion and start fighting everybody who doesn’t play nice with you. Exercise patience and give them some time to study where you may be going wrong.
There’s no smoke without fire. Always assume you are to blame at the beginning to keep things in order. This will give you room enough to know their intension and how to deal with these disrespectful in-laws if things continue to last longer.
Discuss with your spouse
Speak with your spouse about the situation. He or she will help calm them and put them in order. You both must agree to tackle this humbly without creating more confusion. You partner may help solve this problem before it escalates.
Time to act
While you are patience and copping with them, safeguards yourself.
- Create boundary: a reliable step to take is to set rules and build barriers – this will help you know when enough is enough – how to relate with them, how far your conversations should go – by this, they will not have chance to approach you more than you permit.
- Don’t act timid: the more vulnerable you are the more space they have to mess with you – let it show in your action that you are not weak or lack the protection of your family and loved ones – make bold decisions when dealing with them.
- Speak your mind: when they fight to break the boundary, ask them to stay in their lain.
Don’t fight in the public: don’t go assuming any role in the theatre in public – by that, I mean, you shouldn’t fight or quarrel with them in the public to generate spectators.
Avoid issues that stir misunderstanding
You should comport yourself. Don’t go talking behind their back. Make sure you stay away from matters that may upset them.
When they try to start a fight, find your way out if it’s too much to take.
Be a person of few words
Limit your engagement with them. When you are together, don’t share private issues regarding you with them. And avoid meddling with their private matters too.
How you handle your in-laws may also determine how they treat you. Before you start whining about wrong treatment from in-laws, watch yourself.
Also, remember you are both from different background and culture. So therefore, exercise patience. You need your marriage to work, get your spouse together on the same board to make your marriage excel work.
All the best in your marriage.