You may be one of those lucky people with golden in-laws that appreciate you and kindly stay out of your private business. They don’t pressure you to do anything that goes against your own morals or house rules and they never ask you to do anything that would hurt your family relationships in any way.

For those that deal with pressures, differing morals, standards and priorities, read on…

Your primary responsibilities are to your partner, your children and yourself. Of course, one should always strive to respect and care for parents, but it isn’t marked with an at-any-price label. It is up to you to build boundaries together as a couple and to stick to these limits to ensure a healthy relationship. For this, you’ll need relationship advice about how to operate as a team with your partner.

  1. Make sure you commit with your partner that your relationship is the priority.
  2. Sit down together, as a couple, and outline the points of contention.
  3. Discuss both your needs and make compromises.
  4. Decide cooperatively what your outside limits and boundaries of accepting their behavior will be.
  5. Plan out how this will be presented to the offending party / parties.

Of course, there’s a lot of emotion involved and it’s never as easy as 1-2-3-4, but working out a plan of action together and setting objective limits will serve two purposes. It will put you and your partner on the same page and it will also, hopefully, work out a way that you can allow yourselves to spend time with the in-laws in a happier atmosphere.

Additionally, do your best to never, ever involve either of your extended families in any disagreements you and your partner may have. It’s inviting interference, for one, and secondly, once you’ve solved the issue(s) and happily gone on with life, they’re likely to be holding grudges and asking questions a long time down the line.
Enjoy your families, but for your own sakes – enjoy them with limits.

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