If you get married, you’ll have in-laws. Every culture and country around the world has those jokes of the crazy in-laws. But who wants a crazy, drama filled life? In-laws are the foundation of the new expanded family you are now a part of. So, here are some tips to an easy, happy life with the in-laws… believe it or not! P.S. It’s never too late to create that family that you want.
- Direct Link to Who You Love. You can see this two ways. If you’re a son or daughter in-law… remember the one you love is a product of the family they came from- can’t deny them. If you’re a mom, dad, brother or sister in-law… remember the new family member is loved by your flesh and blood. Can’t deny them.
- Watch that Criticism. Once again, this cuts both ways. Put down your in-laws, you’ve put down your loved one. Either it’s your loved one’s family or their new chosen family. So, choose your words carefully.
- Stay in Touch. Ultimately, in-laws are part of the family. The reality is that when we are not on good terms with family, we are not on good terms with a part of ourselves.
- Yes-Them- With a Smile. At lease at first… and that means years. In-laws are part of our family but they are a new part that is joining as an adult. This means that everyone needs to get to know each other and find their niche.
- Have Loose Boundaries. Think back to when we were kids. We were open to new experiences and meeting all those kids in kindergarten. Retain that innocence, sense of acceptance and desire to become of part of a new clan.
- Assume Good Intentions. There are exceptions, some people are sick, but it’s best to always assume good intentions and give the benefit of the doubt. So, they didn’t call for your birthday? Don’t take it personally and don’t judge. Just go with it and let it go.
- The Kids Are Watching. If you have children, they watch your every move. Create the relationship with your in-laws that you would like your children to have with you and their siblings one day. That means not sharing and focusing on every piece of dirty laundry of family members with kids as they are growing. To live in Disney, you must build it.
- Find a Friend in Your New Family. A new family speaks a different language and has a completely different culture than the one you grew up in. Find a friend in this new world who you can help translate as you learn the lay of the land.
- Include Them. When it comes to events, gifts, photos… play it fair. It’s not one family verse the other. It’s two families coming together as one. It is natural to feel more connected to the one you’ve always had but remember, as life goes on, you will one day be in this new expanded family longer than you were in the one that you came from. You don’t want to live a lifetime as an outsider.
- What if they’re toxic? Assume the best at every turn. Then support your loved one who is in the relationship as much as you can. Ultimately each person chooses their own path and the person you care for is traveling this journey and has to come to their own terms ultimately on how to deal with it.
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