How to improve relations with the in-laws
Our relationship with our in-laws has long been the butt of many jokes. Mothers-in-law are especially hit hard when it comes to relationships that many people struggle with. Of course there are those who get along well with their in-laws and do not understand the problems that others face in these family relationships. However, the majority of us could use some help finding ways that we can improve relations with the in-laws.
Below you will find some tips that you can follow to help you to improve your relationships with your spouse's family. Of course some of these suggestions may not apply to you or there may be some who feel like they will need to find even more resources beyond those mentioned here in order to develop a better relationship with their in-laws. Whatever the case, as you read through these tips and apply them, make sure that you also do so with the right attitude and that you are willing to devote the effort needed to make a change in yourself.
Tips for how to improve relations with the in-laws
- Focus on what you can do to improve relationships, not on what you think others should be doing for you.
- Remember that you promised to do whatever it took to make your spouse happy. This includes getting along with his/her family.
- Make a conscious decision that you are going to do whatever it takes to make your in-laws your friends. Show them the same respect you would show your closest companions.
- Respect your in-laws. Even if you cannot agree with your in-laws on any topic whatsoever, you can always respect their right to their own opinions.
- Include your in-laws in your social activities. Invite them to family events or to activities that you are having.
- Send out of town in-laws regular updates about what is happening with your family and show an interest in what is happening in their lives.
- Maintain open and honest communication. If something offensive is said by an in-law tactfully express how that comment made you feel.
- Decide with your spouse how you will celebrate holidays, if you will visit parents for dinner once a week, if you are going to be asking your in-laws to baby sit, etc. Present a united front so that no set of parents or other in-laws feels inferior.
- Encourage private time with your spouse and his/her parents and his/her in-laws. Many times the strongest bonds are formed from one-on-one interactions.
- Show appreciation for what your in-laws do for you. Do not expect certain things just because you are family.
- Overcome all problems with love. You love your spouse and they love their family. We would all be better off in any relationship if we allowed for our feelings of hurt and anger to be set aside so that conflicts could be resolved with love.
- Go out of your way to show your in-laws that a good relationship with them is important to you by helping them with projects, remembering special events, etc.
- Recognize that you cannot change anyone but yourself. If you try everything that you know how to improve your relations with your in-laws, there may be times when there is simply nothing else that you can do.
Your companion should be an active participant in the process of improving relations with both sides of the family. Find support in your sweetheart. Express to him/her how you feel about your in-law relations. Ask your spouse for their advice. After all, who better to help you understand your in-laws than your spouse?