6 Tips For Dealing With Difficult In-laws And Extended Family Members

19th July 2018
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Dealing with your mother-in-law or sister-in-law can be a bit difficult and tricky.

I have been married for nearly 9 years and you would think I am comfortable with my husband family members.

But I am no way near that.

They are things I can say to my own mother but can’t say to my mother-in-law simply because I have known my mother all my life and I know how she reacts if I say something good or bad.

Having said this I have a very good relationship with my lovely mother-in-law and I like her very much.

dealing with in- laws

Some people have good relationships with their in-law and extended family but this is not the case with everyone.

It’s is easy for your in-laws and extended family members to interfere in your marriage especially the first few years.

When you join your spouce’s family you must be tolerant and understanding, they too must be able to embrace you just the way you are and not try to change you.

The chances are that you are never going to like everything that your new family has to offer you and in turn, they might also not like what you have to offer to them.

You might also face criticism, you might feel like you don’t belong to the family.

It’s important to know that no matter how difficult your in-laws and extended family are, you have to try and get along with them for the sack of your spouse they are family to him or her.

Your spouse was raised in this family you can’t just come in the family and cause havoc and disturbance and expect your spouse to stick with you.

And your in-laws must not try to cause a break down in your marriage.

Here are 6 tips to help your relationships with your in-laws and extended family 

1. Communication

Good relationships are built with good communication.

You should learn to communicate before you jump into conclusions talk to your spouse.

If you have anything that is troubling you it’s better to speak out that to bottle up things.

2. Set Boundaries And Limits

It’s easy to let your inlaws and extended family walk over you but you can reverse this my setting boundaries and limits with them too.

It’s important to be on the same page with your spouse so that your in-laws know that you are in this together.

Most in-laws and extended family have a habit of coming to you asking for something for example money and when they don’t get the answer they want they go to their own son or daughter.

If their daughter or son say yes to their request then you are in big trouble they will start to despise you.

Set boundaries and limits as a couple before going solo on decisions consult your spouse first.

3. Choose To Be Wrong And Let Them Be Right.

You might want to express your feelings and your viewpoint on a certain topic but if your in-laws and extended family are not agreeing just let it be.

Not everyone in your spouse’s family is going to agree with you everytime they have their own thoughts and understanding of things that is total different to yours.

No matter how much you try to explain things they just won’t understand, don’t take it personally.

Sometimes you just have to let your in-laws and extend family win the arguments for the sack of maintaining your peace.

Even if you are right in an argument sometimes you have to let the person who is wrong win the argument.

Learn to choose the right words and don’t be a person with the last words in an argument.

Sometimes it better to walk away from the argument or keep quiet, this is not a sign of weakness but it’s a sign of great strength.

If you choose to stay and argue with them,  you might get angry and say words to your in-laws that you you will regard.

4. Criticise Less

It easy to criticise, judge your inlaws or extended family when we don’t really know their side of the story.

No one person is perfect everyone has a story, so to jugde your inlaws less.

Instead of criticism choose to listen and to love them because love overshadows any criticism you might have about them.

5. Forgive

I love this quote from Gerald  Jampolsky :

I can have peace of mind only when I forgive rather than judge.

Forgiving your in-laws and extended family can be a difficult thing especially when they have really hurt you.

Remember that your inlaws are humans too they are not machines they make mistakes too, just like you.

Forgiving them will free your mind and you will be able to have peace.

6. Be Yourself

During my first years of marrige, I used to hit the panic button on the notice that my in-laws were visiting for the weekend.

Here are some of the thing that I would do…

…I would go and clean places in my house that I had not clean before,

…I would run around move furniture around re-arranging furniture,

…I would clean all the kitchen cupboards making sure everything in the kitchen is shinning.

…I would make sure that my house is immaculately clean, spotless and that not even a breadcrumb is seen on my floors

…I would stress over the meals I would cook for them.

By the time they arrived at our house, I am sure I would have lost a few pounds in weight.

If you would ask me why I was doing all this I would tell you this ” I wanted to impress them and to get their approval ”

I stopped doing this when I had my third child who was born prematurely.

I learned many lessons about life when she was born.

And one of the lesson was to slow down and enjoy what life throws at you.

In life, you don’t have to do things to impress others just be yourself, life is too short for trying to impress this person and that person.

Just be yourself if they like you than that’s great and if they don’t like you be okay with that too.

Because not everyone is going to like you and you can’t change this no matter what you do.

Over to you…

What do you like most about your in-laws?

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