7 Ways To Love Difficult In-laws (Part 2)
by Angie Lewis 11/15/2006 / Marriage
1. Be Assertive
In-laws seem to have ideas of their own. Out of respect, it is good to listen and sometimes heed your elderís opinions, but sometimes itís not a very good idea. So what should you do if you donít agree with your in-laws? First of all, use discretion in matters that involve a weighty decision. And then be open and honest about your feelings. Donít try and please your in-laws only to regret it later. Do what you think is best, if it turns out you were wrong, admit your mistake, and go on in dignity.
2. Keep Private
Most of the time, especially if newly married, you might unintentionally involve your in-laws in your family affairs by telling them about your private matters. Or you tell them how you arenít getting along with their son or daughter. Is it any wonder they are giving you unwarranted advice? If you donít want something to come back and bite you in the tail later, donít involve the in-laws in your private family affairs.
Some in-laws like to give out a lot of unasked for advice. They may tell you how to cook, what to wear, how to discipline the kids, How to budget your finances, etc. They may treat you as if you are still a child and donít know any better. In-laws are older than us, but that does not necessarily mean they are wiser. Be respectful at all times, and take what you want and throw the rest out.
4. Detach With Love
Some in-laws are so troublesome, it is a never-ending story trying to get along with them. Besides being assertive with your feelings, detaching is sometimes a must for your own mental health. Some in-laws have addiction problems or other emotional problems and this is where detaching comes in real handy. Detaching with love is not allowing their problems to become your problems. You can detach without being rude or disrespectful. Be supportive and loving at all times but donít allow their abuse or pain to cause your own attitude to become negative.
5. Set Appointments
Have you ever watched the Ray Romano show? This is a cute, clean comedy that depicts nosy and overbearing in-laws, who barge in without knocking, whenever they feel like it. The daughter in law does not like it that her in-laws just barge right into her home, but she never asserts herself and tells them she doesnít like it. So they just keep on popping over unannounced. She has set a precedent with them that their behavior is ok. Set schedules times that the in-laws may come over so they arenít intruding on family time together. This also means that you should never pop on over to their house without being invited first.
6. Set Boundaries
Set boundaries in a respectful fashion without hurting any feelings. For instance, lets say your mother in law showers your children with candy every time she comes over, but you donít want the kids rotting their teeth out with candy. There is a respectful way that you talk with your in-laws that doesnít make them feel like you are rejecting them, or that would make them rebel against your wishes. Make them feel appreciated for their actions first, then state your needs. If they still will not oblige by your wishes, keep all the candy they bring over in a bag, and at the end of the year, give it back to them, theyíll get the picture.
7. Talk To Your Spouse
It is important that you talk to your spouse about how you feel. They are your in-laws but it is your spouseís parents. In-laws will not take you very seriously unless both of you agree and stay consistent with them in regards to your relationship with them.