In-law problems are a problem as old as time itself. They are well-known issues that married people face and the basis for many jokes, however corny they may be. For some couples, a civil relationship between themselves and an in-law seems impossible to obtain, but it’s really not as difficult as one might think.
Mother-in-law problems are perhaps the most common but not the only one a person might endure. It could be any member of your spouse’s family that gives you difficulty. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are strategies you can follow to eliminate or at least minimize the problems that occur between you.
What are these strategies? Really, they are just common sense tips when put into practice can make a big impact on the quality of your relationships.
Tip one, keep your distance, both literally and figuratively. If at all possible, do not live next to an in-law. At least live where you cannot see each others residences, and hopefully put some miles between you. In a more relational way, realize that an in-law is simply the family member of your spouse and you do not have to be close. That being said, of course you want to be conversational when you are together but don’t feel like you have to be the best friend of your mother-in-law or other in-law.
Tip two, kindness counts. Do your best to be kind, even when the favor is not returned immediately. Offer a compliment to your in-law. Kind words are often disarming.
Tip three, draw your line in the sand. Be willing to overlook small offenses but when the offense goes beyond a point you are willing to tolerate, handle your in-law firmly and swiftly. Let them know what you are and are not willing to put up with and stand by it. If you need your spouse’s support, gain it in private before facing them.
Lastly, remind yourself often that there has to be something good about these people; they play a large part in the person you fell in love with.