How Healthy Couples Deal with IN-LAWS

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They brought you into this world and raised you to become the person that you are. They are as much a part of your life as you are of their's. So, while you might have met your soulmate and decided to start a new life, they continue to remain an integral part of your universe. And this holds good for your in-laws too ! In any marriage, the in-laws on both sides have a crucial role to play. Not only because they share an emotional connect with your spouse but also because they are often the key to understanding your partner better. Though they might turn out to be the polar opposite of what your own family has always been, your husband/wife will find them to be completely normal ( barring a few exceptions where I have seen people acknowledging their parents to the monsters they really are ). It may sound a little too harsh but we all know people who drive their own spouse and children crazy by their insane demands and possessiveness. Now imagine the scenarios when that person assumes the mantle of an in-law and you can very well understand what I mean to imply. Thus, in order to maintain a healthy relationship with your in-laws and in the process, doing your own marriage a favor, there are some golden rules to be followed -
  •  Not quite near but never too far - Too much closeness raises the expectations on both sides while distance often breeds doubt. So, it is important to strike the right balance. Discuss with your spouse about the expectations from his/her family, convey those of your lot and decide to draw up the guidelines based on mutual understanding.And have patience. Just like everything else, it takes time and effort the reach there.
  • Let your spouse take up the primary role in all communications with your in-laws - Your spouse has spent their entire life with the your in-laws so naturally he or she is the best judge as to their emotions. He or she should be the one to break any news that needs delicate handling.That does not mean that you should stay out of the loop. Do step in and let your opinions/decisions be known. The key is to appear involved and not just domineering.
  • Set boundaries - Usually there are a lot of expectations from the son's wife. But at the same time, you happen to be an individual with your own choices and way of living. Do respect your in-laws and do not succumb to their diktats.In the initial days of your marriage, you may be eager to please everyone in order to gain acceptance. But once the honeymoon period gets over and you are faced with the challenges of maintaining a work-life balance, it becomes a burden that you no longer willing to shoulder.
  • No Badmouthing - After all, your spouse is only human. Since you happen to be married to the person, you need to accept him or her as a complete package. Flaws and all included. If it is a habit that you find particularly bothersome, the best recourse is to talk it out with him or her. It is only the individual who has the power and will to change himself.Sometimes kids tend to pick up habits from their parents and in such a situation, it will only make matters worse if you point it out to your in-laws.
  •  No sharing your marital issues with your parents - That is what friends are for ! Parents have a natural ( read 'born') allegiance when it comes to their own children. So every time you run to your parents after a fight, you are jeopardizing the chances of making a success out of your marriage. Agreed some of them will remain objective in any given situation, but their tendency to take sides might leave you feeling victimized.So unless they are happy to sit on the fence, which itself is an exceptional scenario, drop the idea of ringing them up at the drop of a hat !
All said and done, once you decide to give your marriage a hundred percent chance at succeeding, you will automatically figure out the right way to deal with your in-laws. And in case, you find yourself floundering, just remember these golden lines by Wayne W. Dyer -
" How people treat you is their Karma; How you react is yours. "

By Sweta Biswal


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