So you’re engaged, and although it’s an exciting and thrilling time for both you and your significant other, conflict is bound to arise, often in the form of your soon-to-be family-in-law. Some cases may be worse than others, but we’d like to help you lessen the load. Read on for some practical tips and thoughts on how to keep them happy, and, appropriately involved.
First of all, you need to make peace with the fact that your wedding planning journey will come with a fair share of stress, drama and mishaps, but all of this could be managed easily by not stressing about the things you cannot change. That goes for the family you’re marrying into as well. If you’ve known the person you’re marrying for a good amount of time, you probably know their family too – including their habits and preferences. Just because you’re getting married doesn’t mean those things will change, so make it easier for yourself by making peace with it – you’d want your S.O to do the same for you.
You marry the family, too.
That said, your new spouse’s family is accepting a new member into theirs, as your family is too, so be mindful about including them in the planning process. Your wedding is a celebration of not only two people coming together, but two families uniting, so they need to feel that their opinions matter too. This doesn’t mean that you have to take every suggestion they make to heart, but they’ll feel much more included if you make an effort to hear them out and make some compromises.
Take a stand
Sometimes, keeping the peace means taking a stand. It’s extremely difficult to avoid hurting the feelings of someone who simply wants to help, but sometimes their need to help is greater than your need for it. Don’t allow yourself to get into a situation too deep before realising that you’re allowing things to happen that will ultimately make you unhappy. Say no when you need to, but explain your feelings and reasoning behind it so that a mutual understanding can be reached.
You and your S.O absolutely need to be on the same page when it comes to making the decisions in your planning process. This will allow you to adequately explain your reasoning to your families, without throwing anyone under the bus. However, if your parents are paying for some parts of the wedding, you need to be on the same page with them too. Be open about what you want, your visions and expectations to avoid unnecessary conflict, especially if you’re not the one paying for it.
Lessen the load
Just because it’s your wedding doesn’t mean you have to plan, take care of and do everything. Make your vision clear and allow your mother-in-law, father-in-law or whoever-in-law to help you out with making calls, DIY projects, collections or whatever it is you may need. This will allow them to feel involved, but not in an overwhelming way where they have the ability to make decisions for you. However, looking at the other side of the spectrum could be just as tricky. Maybe your father-in-law is great at building things with his hands, but up until now you haven’t been getting along that well. Take the plunge and ask him for help with your DIY projects – it might be the starting point for the relationship you’ve been looking for.