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Top 5 Steps to Mending Relationships with Your In-Laws

There’s nothing like finding that person who truly understands and respects you! You feel cherished, supported, and seen so if you’re both interested, you may want to get married and build a family. 

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Or maybe you don’t get officially married, since Millennials are not that fond of the traditional family life. Still, when you find your special someone and decide to settle down and build a life together, you will also have to deal with his/her parents and extended family.

Of course, the vice-versa applies as your partner will have to deal with your parents. 

So, married or not, you will both have in-laws. Sadly, even if you don’t adhere to the traditional family life, a spiny relationship with the in-laws may be something you’ll have to deal with sooner or later.

The generational gap and the different views on life tend to come between spouses and their in-laws, but it doesn’t have to be like this. 

Here are five steps you can take to open the door to positive communication and understanding:

#1: Pay Attention to Special Events

Whether it’s Mother’s Day or it’s your in-laws’ wedding anniversary, it’s important to show them you care and that you want to celebrate with them.

Even if you can’t be present at all the big family events, you can send your mother-in-law a beautiful Mother’s Day flower arrangement (like the ones you can find on Bouqs.com) and make sure she knows you value her input.

#2: Keep a Friendly, but Polite Demeanor

Unless you are strongly encouraged to be extra-friendly, always maintain a polite demeanor when talking with your in-laws. After all, they are older and have more life experience. However, don’t be cold towards them. A friendly face with a nice smile is a lot easier to talk to than a cold, stoic one. 

#3: Talk It Out

A good relationship with the in-laws starts in the couple. So before directly addressing any issues you have with your partner’s parents, talk with your partner. Tell them (in a respectful way) if something didn’t seem right and let them know you are open to discussion. 

It may be a sensitive subject, but it is important to be open about these issues with your partner. Of course, you shouldn’t approach the topic with anger or disrespect towards their parents.

Keep a neutral tone and find ways to express your thoughts in a manner that isn’t confrontational or manipulative. 

#4: Get to Know Them

If your first impression of your in-laws wasn’t great, make an effort to get to know them before you cast any judgment. First encounters can be stressful for both sides, especially when a new family member comes along. 

So take your time and try to get to know them. Take your mother-in-law out for coffee or go to a play together (something she likes).

Participate in activities your father-in-law likes as well and listen to their point of view. You don’t have to agree with them all the time, but it helps to be supportive.

#5: Learn to Deflect

Yes, most in-laws like to offer their unrequested opinion and advice on various topics. And yes, most of the time, their “tips” don’t apply to you. But instead of reacting emotionally and making a scene, it’s best to give a neutral response like ”I’ll think about that”.

Of course, you have to protect your boundaries, so when the time comes, learn to refuse them gently. 

Key Takeaways

Meeting each other’s parents and trying to get to know them is one of the things every couple should do before tying the knot. However, this relationship won’t grow overnight.

Things may mellow out in time or they can become your second pair of parents, but it all depends on the actions you take.

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