Relationships are hard work. There are as precious and delicate as glass. And like glass, they can crack under pressure. Marriage brings several such delicate ties in our lives.
Maintaining good relations with in-laws is what we all yearn for. While it may be a cakewalk for some of us, there are many others for whom it becomes a challenge. There are many expectations and adjustments that come into the picture. The downside of any stress in these relationships is the ripple effect that it creates. Conflict with your in-laws is bound to affect the harmony of your marital life.
I am no expert but can share a few tips that can help you in such situations. Read along to know more.
How to build a good relationship with in-laws
Make them your family
Several women get influenced by others’ stories. They enter marriage expecting similar situations of discord. They fail to accept their husband’s family as their own. Needless to say, this tinted vision becomes a roadblock to their own peace of mind. The best way to start is by accepting your husband’s relatives as your family. Treat them with the same respect and love as you would give to your own family.
This relationship is as new to you as it is to them. Perhaps they are also trying to adjust to your choices and preferences. An open and positive attitude can help you to settle in a new environment.
Miscommunication is the breeding ground for most conflicts. You can solve most matters instantly by talking directly to the person involved. A lot of times, women use their husbands as a messenger to communicate on their behalf. This only worsens the situation as he only knows what he sees.
Having said that, you also need to be careful with your words. Speaking directly doesn’t mean complaining or blaming your in-laws. You have to be careful with your words so that you do not appear disrespectful. For all you know, your in-laws may welcome such open conversations and reciprocate.
Communication also means sharing your achievements and struggles with them. This becomes all the more important when they stay in a different city or country. Try to call them frequently so that they don’t feel alone. Instead of searching for a recipe online, call your mother-in-law and see how happily she answers your queries.
If you have children, encourage them to speak with their grandparents. Most grandparents like to be involved in their children’s lives. They would love to know if your children have won a competition or aced their tests. You can also share their pictures and videos once in a while.
Do not escalate
We women often exaggerate the situation when it comes to our in-laws. If there has been a disappointment, do not become overly emotional about it. You may end up saying something you don’t mean and worsen the situation.
No relationship is perfect and conflicts are bound to happen. I believe people are inherently good but can say hurtful things unintentionally. The best mantra is to wait it out. Instead of reacting impulsively, give it some time so that you can see the situation more rationally. There is a good chance that you will choose to forget and move on. Better still, your in-laws may realize their mistake and come around themselves.
Include your parents-in-law in your lives. This means involving them in your woes as well as happiness. During your times of difficulty, there is no better shelter than your parents. Ask them for their advice so that they feel important. Let them know that you will always be there in their times of need.
Extend this behaviour whether they stay with you or come to visit you. Ask them to help you with house chores. They have a lot of free time on their hands and would feel loved with such gestures.
Do not blame your partner
A lot of women often blame their husbands for their parents’ behaviour. While it is alright to share your concerns and problems, you need to be careful with your words. The rule is to not say things that you will not like to hear about your parents.
It’s important to understand that your in-laws have lived a certain way and hold a certain mindset. Just like its unfair/hard for you to change your lifestyle, its equally hard for them to do so. Every relationship needs some time and an adjustment period.
You and your in-laws hold a special meaning in your husband’s life. Constant fights or complaints will only make his life miserable. This will, in turn, jeopardize your relationship with him.
You can be firm without being aggressive. Politeness can go a long way especially in the event of conflicts or setting the right expectations. There is no need to reciprocate if your in-laws are not behaving well. Of course, there is a limit to how much one can accept. However, there is always a gentle way to communicate your boundaries. I am not asking you to be Gandhi but you can go modern with some Munnabhai tricks. You can do it either by your actions or words. Your kids are watching and they will pick up their habits and behaviour from you. As a side benefit, kindness may bring a change in your in-laws as people pick up behaviours from others.
In the end, you alone are responsible for your happiness.
Comparing your life with others who seem to be having-it-all will only cause more stress. Trust me NO one has it all and everyone has her own share of struggles. If you feel you have done everything in your capacity to improve the relations and it is still not happening, then let it be. Accept it and go about your life. Be cordial with them but limit your interactions for your own sanity.
Take your husband in confidence and explain the situation. Mention that your intentions are pure but you need his support to avoid any conflict. After all, both parties have to contribute equally for any relationship to succeed. While communication is the best strategy to avoid misunderstandings, sometimes you also have to ignore a few things.
Take small steps and start by celebrating Mother’s Day with both ladies ♥