It is definitely worth trying to maintain a positive and lasting relationship with your in-laws. It will lessen the stress on your marriage, as your hubby will never feel that there is a need to choose between “you” and “them”. It will also allow your kids to grow up with the love, memories and support of their grandparents, along with giving you peace of mind and the second source of support as you go through life’s ups and downs.
If you follow the few steps given below, you could be having a great relationship with your in-laws for the rest of your life.
1. Give yourselves time
It probably took you months, maybe even years, of intense courtship to decide that you knew your spouse well enough to get married to him and start a family together. However, you got far less time to get to know your in-laws during that time. Be patient, take your time to understand them, their personalities, likes and dislikes and be likeable. They are trying to make you feel comfortable too (especially your mum-in-law ), so work towards building a long-term relationship with them. After all, they are your family now.
2. Respect each other
You are a part of the family now, but that doesn’t necessarily give you a pass for overly candid behaviour. Be respectful, courteous and kind to them, and it won’t hurt to stroke their ego every now and then (elders love that). It might take some time, but eventually, they will start reciprocating these little niceties.
3. Be Inclusive and treat them as family
Don’t make a distinction between “Them” and “Us”. Upon marriage and especially after you have children, in-laws need to be treated as an integral part of the family by you. Assure them that they have as much a right on their son and grandchildren as you do. Don’t isolate them. Go out together as a family, as this will help strengthen the bond even further.
4. Don’t choose sides
Avoid getting directly involved in arguments your husband might have with his parents. You can be supportive and provide a listening ear later, but don’t participate in the conflict, as it will only escalate the situation to unnecessary heights. This also applies when it comes to differences between your in-laws and your own parents. Don’t choose sides and don’t let your spouse do the same. Instead, work to find common ground, as there’s almost always a solution. It may involve compromises from both parties, but the relationship does not get strained.
5. Choose to see the good
Always remember that your in-laws are the people who raised the man you are married to. They have had a huge impact on him in terms of values and his general outlook towards life, which made you choose their son in the first place. So, if you love your spouse, shouldn’t there be something you could love in his parents. Choose to see the good in what they do. Try to understand that their motives behind whatever you disagree with at that point arise from their love for you and him.