(you will be baffled by #4)
Marriage and the in-laws go together in most cultures. Many times, before you get married, you subconsciously forget about the in-laws because you are totally in love with your partner. No much challenges during courtship, no interference from any family. You never imagined the in-law’s saga, and then boom, after the marriage, his family from here and there begins to interfere and the whole thing begins to feel stressful. From managing the home, loving your spouse and keeping the in-laws happy. It begins to appear like he’s always taking sides with his family or perhaps just weak when it comes to them. Most times, this makes you feel sad and you begin to doubt his love for you and then you begin to see the in- laws as the enemy. However, if you really want win them over , then I ask you to pay close attention to the next line here.
- Let me tell you the truth without mincing words,” only you can change how you want to be treated”, no matter the kind of person you are married to. If you want them to treat you well, then this has to start from your mind. You have to first learn to accept your in-laws sincerely despite their short comings and stop attaching meanings to every mistake on their part. You think they are deliberately provoking you because you are not their child or you imagine they did not want you for their son. Even if they never wanted you for their son, now that you are already married to him, why don’t you try to change the notion so they will instead eat back their own words?
- It is important you know that the way you manage your in-laws can greatly affect your marriage. your spouse feels comfortable and relaxed when his relatives are respected by you. But unfortunately, many women today think this is unachievable. You perceive them to be antagonistic towards you. Know that this can subconsciously affect how you treat them in return. You refuse to consider giving them the benefit of doubt as you have decided to occupy your mind with negative thought about them. Some women can go as far as telling you proudly that they can only marry a man whose mother is no more. I mean why on earth would anyone have such thoughts? I mean, with such mindset, what will happen when she falls in love and marries a man whose mother is still alive. I tell you categorically that this can only cause you more heartache and lead you to having a tense relationship with your in-laws which won’t benefit your marriage at all.
- Know that by default, they have become your extended family after marriage. so why is it difficult to accept them wholeheartedly? When you lost focus, at the slightest provocation, you begin to think they are out to destroy your marriage. Note that thoughts are but unconfirmed assumptions so be careful not to work with them. In fact, you feel so isolated from your in-laws that you are often resentful that they are needless intruders into your personal life with your spouse. The in- law tension is a global issue and not peculiar to a particular culture. When you accept the fact that relationship with your in-laws is not built on love or affection then that will be the beginning of your salvation. It is a relationship which is forced on you through your marriage. So, your connection with your in laws is built on obligatory respect and compulsion.
- Now ask yourself, have you honestly tried to accept them without the negative assumptions?
I understand there are times you may feel you cannot truly love them because you feel as though:
- They instigate your spouse against you.
- They curtail your freedom and always have their eyes on your movement.
- They are too interfering.
- They are always judging you…….
You wonder how I know all of these rights?
Well, I have been there and I came to realize that such thought will only add to my misery and fuel more discord in the family.
When you accept that you are already related by marriage and Unless you give your in-laws due respect, your spouse will definitely build up resentment against you.
If you want them to love you like crazy, then you first have to learn to accept them, be patience and also apply wisdom in your dealings with them. You have to earn their trust and love, you can’t expect them to love you by default as your family would. This way, you are sure to win them over even when you are having issues with your spouse.
I know you are already thinking in your mind ‘but how can I achieve this’?
Stay Calm, I know you are already trying on your part to respect them, to love them but yet to no avail. Perhaps you are thinking, it’s hard for you because they are not nice to you either. I want you to know that the strongest weapon you can use to melt the strong heart is ‘LOVE’ and more love. If you are already loving them but they are not reciprocating then I urge you to show more love even if you have to practice the habit of loving them until it naturally becomes a part of you. You can start slowly by adopting the following suggestions itemized below.
- Give your in- laws due respect.
The level of your education should not count much in marriage, you have to learn to humble yourself if you wish to have a happy and successful marriage. Avoid raising your voice at them even when it feels like it. You should learn to handle some matters with decorum.
- Show outstanding hospitality to them and give your spouse some space when he needs to be with them. He’s entitled to some free time with his parents and siblings. Try to be friendly and do not cause your in-laws to feel lonely and lost in your home.
- Communicate the right way with your in-laws
When you look glum with your in-laws, the heat that radiates between you makes your spouse feel unhappy and scalded. Avoid having stilted conversation with them. Discuss topics which is of interest with them.
- Never instigate your children against your them.
Most of you hold your children as a trump card to isolate your in-laws. When they stop loving their own family, at the end, the losers are your children.
- Have reasonable and realistic expectations from your in-laws
5. Avoid comparing your in laws with your parents. This is the reason you feel that your in-laws lack true love for you. You expect them to treat you as your parent would. You just be nice and friendly without having any expectations from them and see how easy things will become with you.
6. Set your boundaries and be real with them. Setting boundaries does not mean throwing away your in-laws from your life. Unless there are boundaries, your relationship with them can get out of control. set clear boundaries, don’t start what you cannot finish. Avoid pretentious behaviors when you interact with them, it will stress you out and can be quite exhausting. Some women are quite good at pretending to be nice with the in-law, this is not a nice attitude to adopt, they will either eventually see through you or you will get stressed and frustrated from it.
It is quite possible to have a decent relationship with your in- laws especially when you put your mind to it. The moment you decide to stop treating them as intruders, you will find it easy to be friendly with them.