For some of us, establishing and maintaining a good relationship with in-laws is no biggie – your partner’s parents might be the most wonderful, caring, kind people in the world. For many people, though, this relationship can be a source of strain, as you are expected to be super close and act as one big happy family, but this may not reflect the reality of the relationship you have with your in-laws. If you’re smiling through gritted teeth at family gatherings and struggling to stay civil, read these tips which can help to reduce the strain of this relationship.
Find the Good
Even if your in-laws are really difficult people, they will have some good qualities. Perhaps your father-in-law is always happy to help around the house, and your mother-in-law always brings a thoughtful gift when they come to stay. Reminding yourself of your in-laws’ good qualities can help you stay calm when one of them is complaining about the meal you just cooked. You could even make a point of focusing on their good qualities, by emphasizing how much you appreciate the gifts and the help around the house. This may help them to understand that you’re not out to argue or criticize, and might make them a little more understanding of you.
Talk to Your Partner
Family dynamics are hard, and if you’re really getting annoyed with your in-laws, your partner may feel like they’ve been put in a difficult position. However, don’t feel like you can’t express how you’re feeling to your partner. It’s really important that they understand the dynamic so that they can intervene, give you some time away from your in-laws, and if necessary talk to their parents.
Give Yourself a Break
If your in-laws are coming to stay for a few days, plan to go out one evening with a friend, or head out for a coffee one morning by yourself. Not only will this give you a break, but your in-laws might appreciate some time alone with their child. This will make it easier for everyone to get along and should ease a lot of the strain.