In-laws can be a tremendous source of support and closeness. They could also be a major problem in your marital relationship. Here are some tips to help you cope with your in-laws and enjoy them.
1. RESPECTEven if you don't think your in-laws deserve it, show respect for them anyway.
2. LOYALTYIt is natural that your spouse may feel some loyalty for his/her family. It's OK as long as you don't come in second.
3. CRITICISMEven if you have the in-laws from hell, don't criticize them. If you spouse criticizes them, just listen. Making comments other than asking clarifying questions can create problems.
4. ROOTSTake time to discover both your genetic and cultural roots and share them with your spouse.
5. FEELINGSIdentify and share your feelings about your family of origin with your partner.
6. HEALINGIf you are having difficulties with your own family issues, it is important that you be open to healing any past injuries so you can move forward in your life with your spouse.
7. BOUNDARIESDefine and set boundaries with your in-laws concerning your feelings, thoughts and expectations about holidays, vacations, visits, time with grandchildren, financial issues, and privacy.
8. SAYING NOKnow when you have had enough. Have a password if necessary so that your spouse understands when it is time to end the visit with your in-laws.
9. CARE GIVINGAs your in-laws and parents age, it is important that you discuss practical concerns with them such as their health and financial issues. Find out their expectations about their care in case they cannot provide for themselves in their later years.
10. PRIORITYRemember to put your marriage first.