Inlaws or Outlaws?

Dealing with your in-laws can be a very trying task. Unless you are one of the lucky few that are immediately accepted with open arms, you’ve most likely had a run in or two with your in-laws. We don’t always get to choose who our in-laws are, but for the sake of our spouse and children, we need to learn to get along with them before they become outlaws.

To start getting along with our in-laws, we must first understand them and why they act the way they do. First we must realize that while we have gained a family, your in-laws often feel as though they have lost a part of their family. Especially when it comes to your spouse’s parents. Some parents feel as though no one is good enough for their child. Therefore, it may take time for them to get to know you as a person and fully accept you. Secondly, parents often have an idea of the type of person they want their child to be with. You may not fit into their category of the ideal daughter or son-in-law, but that does not mean they won’t come to see how happy you make their child.

Do we really need to get along with our in-laws? We definitely should make every effort to do so, especially when there are children involved. When you marry your spouse, you also marry into their family and should try to fit in as best as possible. Get to know your new family’s likes and dislikes. Try your best to avoid getting into debates and most importantly avoid touchy subjects. Not everyone will be accepting of you, but for the ones that do, building and maintaining a great relationship is very important. They will often become your allies and help with those who find it harder to accept you.

There may come a point in time when you can honestly say to yourself that you have done all you can, but you just can’t get along with your in-laws. They have now officially become your outlaws. When this happens, the important thing to remember is to never allow your feelings for your outlaws to come between you and your spouse. Never speak negatively about your outlaws, always try to find something good about them and keep that as your main focus. Don’t try to drive a wedge between your spouse and their family, as they may end up blaming you for the cause of the conflict.

Your relationship with your in-laws can have a positive or negative influence on your relationship with your spouse. You should do your best to get along with your in-laws. That being said, you may not be able to change their opinion of you and that’s ok. No matter what they think of you, always be civil and respect them. This will go a long way towards maintaining a strong relationship with your spouse.

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