Help! I don't get along with my in-laws

Help! I don’t get along with my in-laws

Everybody knows getting married is a package deal. You might adore your new spouse, but that doesn’t mean you will necessarily get along with their family. However, as much as we’d love to tell you it doesn’t matter, it does. Family is family, no matter what and building good relationships with your in-laws will make for a healthy relationship with your partner. Here are a few things to try if you’re faced with a monster-in-law.

– Don’t judge a book by its cover

This is true of all relationships. The way people seem is not always the way they are. Even if they behave in what comes across as rude or mean, it might have nothing to do with you. There might be a deeper insecurity or issue that leads to certain behaviour. Always give people the benefit of the doubt. Also remember that people have different personality types, and not everyone will always get along. That doesn’t mean you can’t be civil towards each other for the sake of your partner. Try spending some one-on-one time with the person and find common ground. You might just be pleasantly surprised.

– Stand your ground

If you have tried getting to know them better and being kind, but nothing’s changed, it might be time to stand your ground. There’s a line between being nice and getting walked over, which no one deserves. If things get so heated that they make you uncomfortable or the other person is downright condescending, you may want to set boundaries and be straight with them. Don’t compromise on your own values just to get them to like you. It’s important for them to know that they should also respect you and your beliefs, even if they don’t agree. Try to explain your point of view in a calm and open-minded manner, giving reasons for your view points.

– But not too much

That being said, always keep in mind that your relationship with your partner comes first. You don’t want to end up hurting them or worse, forcing them to choose between you and their family. If you have tried to be the bigger person, stated your take on things and set some boundaries, but the conflict is still not resolved, you might actually want to take a step back. This might include politely declining from family gatherings. It’s not worth losing your partner over a feud with your in-laws.

– Always be respectful, even if they’re not

The golden rule in every situation is respect. Accept the fact that you may never get along, even though you tried. However, and this especially applies during the “stand your ground” phase, always be respectful. That way, you don’t give them any ammunition to fight with, plus you’re showing your partner that you respect them too. Never stoop down to verbal abuse, immature games or using children as a means to manipulate their grandparents, for example. As long as the in-laws are not actually doing anything illegal or harmful, there’s no reason for you to keep your partner or children away from them. The battle is between you and them.

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