In Law Conflicts: How to Avoid, and How to Maintain Good Relations
In Law Conflicts
In-law conflicts are widespread. They result from the fact that you and your in-laws are at different points in your lives and have different experiences, outlooks, and expectations.
It’s not terrible to have disputes, but it is awful to not be able to handle them. Whether you get along with the spouse’s family or not is a matter of luck.
- A parent may continue to believe they are their kid’s most significant relationship even after their child has married.
- Holidays, children, entanglements, and actual disagreement are the four main areas where in-laws can cause friction.
- Establishing healthy boundaries with others is more important than trying to keep others out.
In its ideal form, marriage is a relationship in which both parties commit to and respect the other’s needs and boundaries. However, when two people tie the knot, they both become part of each other’s extended family.
Whatever the case may be. With any luck, your extended family is one big, happy, harmonious unit where each member knows their place and can express their feelings freely while still being loved and accepted.
Most of us aren’t so fortunate, though. Here are some of the most typical sources of tension for married couples as they deal with in-laws, along with my recommendations for how to alleviate that tension.
Some Facters of In Law Conflict
The holidays and the in-laws can cause tension in two frequent ways. I’m excited about the holidays, but I know it can be tough splitting time between both sets of in-laws. It’s essential to find a balance so everyone feels included and loved.
Let’s make it a memorable day for everyone!. They may take out their anger on you, your partner, or even the “winning” in-laws. The second scenario is when both sets of in-laws consider their own holiday customs to be the most significant and superior.
In any case, you and your partner should establish firm limits before the holidays and then adhere to them without apology. Invite your spouse’s family to your house for the holiday.
That way, everyone benefits. The alternative is to rotate holidays, making sure to give everyone a turn at the “best” holiday each year.
It’s up to you and your partner to decide which of your shared or separate family traditions holds the most significance and emotional weight. Make an effort to incorporate some aspects of each family’s customs into your own.
Your in-laws and their children present three challenges. They are naturally curious about the expected due date. Second, they wish to offer guidance on your parenting techniques.
Third, they disobey your rules even while they’re responsible for them. Once again, the answer is to establish and maintain firm limits between you and your partner.
It makes no difference if these limits are acceptable to your parents or in-laws. Your life is not their concern. They are not their children; they are yours. They will accommodate your rules if they genuinely want to be a part of your family and your children’s lives.
One or more of your in-laws may continue to believe they are your spouse’s highest priority in life. Your in-laws may still be attempting to raise your spouse by telling them what to wear, how to act, how to treat you, how to handle your career, etc.
Or they may assume your spouse is always ready to “help them out,” even if he or she would rather be doing something else, such as spending time with you or the kids.
Again, the solution to an issue of enmeshment is to establish reasonable boundaries. (Do you see a pattern developing?) This time, though, it’s your entangled partner’s responsibility to develop and uphold limits.
Yes, you may tell your significant other that you feel undervalued and perhaps unwanted when he or she prioritizes your mother’s demands over your own. However, you are not responsible for completing this work. Unless you find yourself caught in the web.
Disagreement that Isn’t Manufactured (About Politics, Religion, Money, etc.)
You and your spouse probably don’t see eye to eye on everything in your marriage. We can accept that. A healthy dose of healthy disagreement is essential. You can only develop as people or as a partnership if you face challenges.
An argument now and again will help you maintain your own identities while working together effectively. It also (at least occasionally) compels couples to work together to improve upon their existing circumstances.
When it comes to major life decisions like politics, religion, finances, education, childrearing, location, and so on, you and your spouse are either on the same page or have decided to disagree healthily.
However, things may be different with your in-laws, and they may be open about voicing their opinions. Again, you and your spouse will need to establish healthy limits in such circumstances.
When dealing with actual tension, you need to be more firm when setting boundaries. Words to the effect of Dad: while we respect your opinions, we feel uncomfortable discussing politics with you due to the differences in our beliefs.
We value our relationship with you and want to avoid any potential conflicts that could strain it. It may be in order. Please take your dish of turkey and gravy outside and explain your political views to the lamppost if you insist on doing so.
We want to have you back inside as soon as you feel ready to move on to other topics of conversation.
Closeness to One’s Biological Family
Family practices that allow members of a close-knit family to spend time together are highly valued by those who come from such a background. For instance, your in-laws may want to spend time with you and your husband over the phone every other day and demand weekly family meals.
However, members of less tightly linked families may find greater leeway when it comes to scheduling and attending family events. Such procedures and expectations may seem excessive to you, depending on your values and standards. Disagreements can emerge when families have vastly different priorities.
Customs and Rituals Within a Family
Celebrating significant dates like birthdays, anniversaries, and other life events may help individuals feel more connected to one another. Some people may be less thrilled about these gatherings and may see them as obligations they must meet. The couple and their in-laws may disagree on the exceptional importance placed on such occasions.
The Inability to Change and Deal With Disagreements
Individuals vary greatly. We both come at problems from different angles and have distinct interests and expectations. There isn’t a magic bullet that’ll work for everyone.
Some Suggestions to Avoid In-Law Conflict
A Few Words on Establishing Proper Boundaries
Rather than trying to keep others at bay, good boundaries focus on creating a secure space for others to enter. At the same time, they prevent us from violating the personal space of others.
Equally crucial is remembering that our boundaries are not meant to govern the actions of others but rather our own. Each of us is entitled to our own internal world, complete with our unique set of beliefs and experiences. And the same goes for others.
Stay Solidly United
You and your spouse need to support one another and keep the lines of communication open while coping with challenging in-laws. “Couples need to lean into each other and decide together what their stance is about the role the in-laws play in their relationship,” says Tyler.
The couple will feel better and be better able to handle the problems ahead if nothing else changes with the in-laws since they will have each other’s backs.
Avoid Ignoring the Issue
Ignoring an issue in hopes it goes away is never a wise strategy, and that includes dealing with your in-laws. Putting one’s own feelings aside and “turning the other cheek” can sometimes be the more straightforward option, as Tyler points out.
However, this is just delaying the inevitable. Someone would have to climb over a large stack of cans sooner or later. Lean into the pain and attempt to see things from your in-laws’ perspective if you’re having trouble getting along with them.
If you have challenging in-laws, Tyler says you should practice empathy. To find common ground, it’s essential to put forth the effort to see things from both parties’ points of view.
All steps toward peace should be driven by curiosity and compassion. When people in a relationship feel heard and understood, they are more likely to be open to trying new things.
Get in Touch With The Miscreant Personally
Putting your spouse in the middle of a fight is a bad idea. Talk with your in-laws face-to-face whenever you can. Don’t make your spouse the go-between when communicating your concerns; instead, be direct and honest. In the long run, this might cause bitterness and weaken your marriage.
Avoid Instant Reactions If At All Possible.
Your initial reaction may be to retaliate when your in-laws say something rude or inappropriate. You can be sure that your actions here will only make the problem worse.
In many situations, it can be easy to make assumptions based on incomplete or limited information. However, it’s essential to recognize the potential pitfalls of hasty judgments and jumping to conclusions.
Rushing to make a decision without considering all possible angles can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunications, and missed opportunities.
Taking the time to gather all the facts In order to make informed decisions that lead to better outcomes, it is imperative to consider multiple perspectives and evaluate the pros and cons of each.
This approach allows one to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the situation at hand and make a well-informed decision. By avoiding snap judgments and being open to new information, you can increase your chances of making wise and well-informed choices.
If your in-laws have crossed the line, it’s best to take a step back before confronting them. A delay, even if only a few hours or a few days, might allow everyone involved time to collect their thoughts and determine how they want to respond. In the end, you’ll have a far more fruitful chat.
When family members can’t get along, life may be tricky. Keep in mind that when you choose a side, and your in-laws take a different one, your husband is the one who ends up in the middle.
While no one expects dealing with challenging in-laws to be simple, it is possible. Maintain an open line of communication with others, set and enforce healthy limits, and remember to take deep breaths.
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