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How to Deal with in-laws who are Controlling

Do you dread family meetings and holidays because you have to spend time with in-laws? Relax! There are ways to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. Anyone praying for marriage always prays to have good in-laws too. That is because getting married means accepting to be part of your spouse’s entire family. In-laws can be a blessing or a nightmare, but they are always going to be a part of your married life. So, while praying for the best in-laws, prepare for the worst-case scenario so that you will be able to enjoy your marriage irrespective of how things turn out. Here are five tips on how to successfully navigate relationships with in-laws.

1. Respect them.

This is probably the most important thing you can do when it comes to relating well with your in-laws. No matter how troublesome they are, respect will bring out the best side in every one, including in-laws. Respect their opinions and their feelings. When you respect your in-laws, they see that you regard them highly and they will in turn respect you. As they say, respect is reciprocal.

2. Do not try to take their place.

This is a big one – do not try to take your spouse’s parents’ place in their lives. No matter how much you mean to your spouse, you will always be the spouse and not their siblings or parents. Do not interfere in your spouse’s relationship with their family because you will be doing more harm than good. They have a history and a relationship with your spouse that is different from the one you have. Let them be themselves and do not try to change them. When your in-laws know that they still have their place in your spouse’s life even after marriage, they will not bring you any trouble.

3. Do not badmouth them.

This one is self-explanatory – do not badmouth your in-laws to your spouse or anyone else. In one way or the other, the information will always get back to them. This will not only make them dislike you, it could potentially ruin your relationship with them or with your partner. If they do something you are not okay with, politely let them know or discuss it with your spouse with the aim of finding a solution. No matter how troublesome they are, this approach will soften their hearts, and they will not do it next time. Badmouthing them, on the other hand, will only make them hate you and might make them frustrate you in your marriage.

4. Be there for them

As part of the big family, you would gain the love of your in-laws when you show them that you care. When they need someone to talk to, opt to be their listening ear. When they require assistance, offer it; show up for them. When they have an occasion, happy or sad, show up and assist where you can without being asked. Doing these things will make them realize how much of a good person you are and how helpful you’re to the family; they will love you for that. This is not the same as pretending or engaging in those things in order to buy their love.

5. Be grateful

Finally, be grateful for the fact that you have in-laws. They are a part of your spouse’s life, and they are important to them. Be grateful for the fact that they have opened their home to you and given you the chance to get to know them. Express your gratitude in words and actions. Reassure them that you’re on the same side; as part of the family.

In summary, treat your in-laws in a way that you would like to be treated by using the above strategies. That is how to have a peaceful and successful relationship with your in-laws. Do you know other helpful ways to relate with in-laws to avoid friction? Let us know in the comments.

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