It seems to be an unwritten rule the in-laws are around to make life difficult. That’s not to say there aren’t some great one’s out there, but there are more than enough of the tough ones roaming around causing issues for couples worldwide.
When issues arise, it can be a struggle to respect your partner and their family, whilst simultaniously holding onto your pride. This can lead to some tension between couples which is definitely not a healthy way to operate a relationship.
When you’re at the point of breaking, take a deep breath and ensure you do these 5 things.
Talk to your partner.
This seems like a no brainer, but there are so many couples out there that are afraid of voicing their feelings on the in-laws because they are terrified of rocking the boat with their partner.
If there is a real issue with your relationship with your partners parents, your partner needs to know. That doesn’t mean that you blurt out how much you hate them straight off the bat. Delicately bring up the issue in a way that shows you are giving his/her parents the benefit of the doubt. Eg. “What do you think your mother meant by …. earlier?” or “Should I be concerned that your father keeps saying …..?” If you act mature about the issue, your partner will too, remember that you are a team, and you can work this out better with your partner’s help than without it.
Make an effort.
If you’re around someone who obviously doesn’t want anything to do with you, more often than not you will switch off and stop trying to be around this person. It may not be the reason your in-laws are acting this way in the first place, but kindly making an effort to get to know them and be around them could help with their attitude and behaviour towards you.
It can be a really hard thing to do, but being the bigger person shows you have class and maturity, and that you can move on from whatever has happened in the past. This is something they will respect, and if all else fails, at least you know that you’re not the one that quit on making the relationship between you better.
Facing the reality of your in-laws dropping by unexpectedly all the time? Or do they constantly say inappropriate/offensive things to you? It is really important to squash this behaviour right away, before it becomes a habit and is harder to stop.
If they drop by unexpectedly, or are constantly overstaying their welcome, kindly infer that they need to start calling before they come, as you have other things on and can’t accommodate them whenever they choose. Let them know that coming by isn’t an issue, it just needs to be planned so you know when you have the freedom to invite your friends and other family over.
If you have a problem with what they are saying to you, you need to let them know that you don’t find what they are saying funny or appropriate. It is important that you are shown respect and feel comfortable while speaking with them.
Communicate with each other.
It may be difficult to start a conversation such as this. However, if you feel that there really is an issue, you need to let them know. You didn’t grow up with your partners family, so they could be completely oblivious that they are causing problems with you, as it may just be the way they behave.
If you sit one or both of them down and let them know that they are making you feel like they have a problem with you, then it is the best way to ensure that this behaviour stops.
If all else fails, you are going to need to stop reacting to their behaviour. Be mature and civil with them, but if they can’t speak to you the way you would like them to, then you don’t need to concern yourself with it. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that it is only their opinion and that doesn’t need to affect you or your feelings.
Keep your sense of humour, it is always better to laugh at someone’s comment than get all worked up over it. Remember that they aren’t going anywhere, your partner loves their family, and you need to be in charge of your own feelings on the subject.