When you marry someone, they legally become family. It follows that their family is now yours and vise-versa. It’s part of the marriage package. So, regardless of how much you hate your wife’s slutty sister or how your wife hates your lazy-ass brother, they are family now.
There are four angles with regards to in-law problems. If you don’t have any difficulties with it, then you wouldn’t be reading this post, so I’m assuming that you do.
Here is a general guideline on how to get along with your in-laws, so it doesn’t ruin your marriage.
1. You have a problem with someone in her family
There is a lot of sitcoms about the dreaded mother-in-law, but the reality is much more diverse. It can be an overprotective father, a punk ass sibling, or that one relative with an entire set of sob stories to borrow money that they never pay back.
Here is a piece of advice, whatever you do, do not lose your temper in front of them. Ever! No snarky comments, no side stabs, no sarcastic remarks in any shape or form. Tell your spouse how you really feel when you’re alone with them, but never let it show in the presence of anyone else, not even your own children.
The last thing you want to happen is your three-year-old boy saying “Oh Granma… Papa says your a punk ass b…” That one line will bring you more bad luck than a skyscraper of broken glasses.
Communicate your frustrations with your spouse, no holds barred, uncensored, and honest. Do not exaggerate, but don’t sugar coat it either, you’re not Willy Wonka.
But don’t escalate the problem further by showing how you feel when other people are around. Some people don’t back down from a pissing contest. It is a waste of time with no side benefits, and the whole experience would be like shooting yourself in the foot.
The first lesson learned on how to get along with in-laws is to maintain your Class
2. Someone in their family is vocal about their issues with you
Just because you can show class and smile at horrible in-laws, that doesn’t mean that the other party would do the same. It is even more infuriating when that person does it at your house while eating your food.
It is understood that every person has a limit to their patience, something like this will tick off even an anointed saint. You want to be civil, but you don’t want to be a doormat either.
For cases like this, you don’t have to prove your point to your spouse. It won’t make you look like the bad guy if you put your foot down and tell your spouse to exclude that person from the guest list. You can also avoid events where that person will be present. Tell your spouse that someday things might escalate and it would be really bad for everyone involved.
The second lesson learned on how to get along with in-laws is to Evade the situation
3. Someone in your family hates your spouse
There is nothing harder than trying to break up a fight between your parent and your spouse. It doesn’t matter where you position yourself, you are going to look bad. Even if you don’t take sides, both of them will hate you for it.
If you can’t get them to change their attitudes, then you can at least get them to pretend to be nice to each other. Talk to each of them privately, let them know that you are going to discuss the same subject to the other party. If they can’t respect each other, then make them respect you.
There is no rational person that hates another rational being without good reason. You may or may not agree with that reason, but whatever it is, it is irrelevant.
Just respect and accept their views. In return, have them respect you as a person and your choices.
If one or neither party is backing down, then you and your spouse won’t be attending any family gatherings anytime soon.
The third lesson learned on how to get along with in-laws is to Respect one another
4. Your spouse hates someone in your family
If you married someone you can’t control for a few hours, then you’re an idiot. Even if marriage is supposed to be an equal partnership and no one is supposed to have control of anything, it’s a cooperative venture.
Get your spouse to cooperate and act nice to that family member for a few hours since family gatherings do not last very long. In order to enjoy continued and long-lasting peace, it is imperative to get your spouse to learn the value of cooperation.
The pretense won’t last forever. Since it is only for a short while, most people can hold their anger for that long.
If they can’t, then avoid attending such gatherings, miss out on the free barbeque and beer, and sacrifice for your loved ones. We all have to do the same thing for our loved ones at some point.
If they were able to behave themselves, don’t forget to compensate your spouse for doing a good job afterward.
The fourth lesson learned on how to get along with in-laws is to maintain Discretion.
Nothing good has ever come out from fighting family against family
So, there you have it, folks, it’s mostly adulting and common-sense. However, it’s very easy to talk when your not in the middle rock and a hard place.
Avoiding family gatherings can build up resentment, even from people who initially don’t have an issue with each other. If things are reaching a point where it’s getting embarrassing, get other people involved too and seek help.
This is what a family is all about.
Make sure you hold hands (not literally) during the entire ordeal. Support and protect each other to avoid you or your spouse being singled out by the other party.
A lot of bad things happen when angry people are left to their own devices.
Always remember! Use class, evasion, respect, and discretion to get along with in-laws. Nothing good will ever come out from fighting family against family. There are a lot of cases where animosity between in-laws never gets better. However, that doesn’t mean that it wouldn’t get worse.
There is always hope that things will change for the better, but it is all about the right time. On the other hand, it will only take one wrong move, one word, or one scrape to set off a bomb.
Want to have a happier, healthier marriage?
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.