How to Deal with Your In-laws

by on February 23rd, 2011
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If you are married, more than likely you have experienced problems with your in-laws. Although the media make poke fun at such situations, it is no laughing matter. It can be highly stressful when they constantly criticize different aspects of your life. Anger often results when they offer unfair criticism regarding matters of child-rearing, cooking, and cleaning of the home. Unfortunately for some, issues such as these have led to marital discord or divorce. Due to unfavorable economic circumstances, many couples have no choice but to live with their in-laws. If you find yourself in this situation, what measures can help you resolve differences and live peacefully.

1) Communicate your feelings to your spouse. It is important to have a honest, frank conversation with your spouse about how you feel. You should avoid making accusations. Talk in a calm, peaceful manner. Do not yell. And do not talk disparagingly about his or her parents. Remember, your spouse loves their parents and will be more apt to take their side, if you hurl vicious accusations. Most people immediately become defensive if someone they love is being verbally attacked.

2) Arrange a family meeting with the in-laws. Your spouse should be present and act as a mediator. Once again, during this meeting do not yell, hurl accusations, or engage in name-calling. Be willing to listen to your in-laws viewpoint. It could be a simple misunderstanding. Perhaps, they just want to help and feel needed. However, if you occasionally seek advice or financial help from your in-laws, you have to be reasonable. Your in-laws may have a valid reason to complain or act the way they do.

3) Determine boundaries related to conduct and verbal communication. Your in-laws viewpoint should be incorporated in this plan. The goal should be to respect each others dignity and privacy. Peaceful relations will not happen overnight. Time is needed to heal hurt feelings. However, in the meantime, it may be possible to establish a relationship that is amicable.

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