Turning the Out-laws into In-laws

Here is a question I have been thinking about recently. If we want what is best for us and our in-laws want what is best for us, why is there so much friction?

Your situation is not the same as mine, and my situation is different from everyone else’s, but I think there are a few generalizations:

EXPECTATIONS: when we get married we may expect our in-laws to be as thoughtful, respectful and helpful as our own parents, and they often fail to meet that standard, and that leaves us feeling frustrated and that they are selfish. Take time to consider what they may be expecting of you.

THEY CAN’T LET GO: our parents have invested 20 or 30 years and hundreds of thousands of dollars bring us up, and it is not easy for them to see their baby become an adult, get married and leave you for his new family. They may try to hold on and make demands. Understand their needs and proactively keep them involved so they want have to break your door down to see you.

YOU CAN’T LET GO: many children never emotionally leave home, they are always looking for approval and recognition from their parents. This can give the impression (which may even be true) to their spouse that they care more about their parents opinion than theirs. Cutting the apron strings can hurt but your marriage will prosper.

BOUNDARIES: healthy relationships start with healthy boundaries. A boundary around your marriage keeps the two of you strong and lets the rest of the world know where they are not allowed. Discuss and create boundaries about money, advice, holidays, unannounced visits, the two of you have to decide together where and when your in-laws are allowed into your life.

I DON’T WANT TO UPSET THEM: parents are pretty resilient people and bringing up any subject in a loving, humble, respectful way may hurt them in the short term but will not harm them in the long term. Think about what you need to say, choose your time and let them know that you and your spouse have made a decision together.

And not a mother in-law joke in sight!!!!

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