When you said your vows for better or worst you not only committed yourself to your spouse, you committed yourself to your spouse’s family as well. It’s a package deal whether you like it or not. And now you’ve found yourself questioning the co-existence between you and your in-laws.

Continue reading below for several tips for dealing with the in-laws that are difficult!

  1. Identify the In-Law Issue 

The first thing you’ll need to do is identify the in-law issue. This means really getting down to the bottom of it. What is it about the in-laws that you don’t like?

Are there certain values that they have that differ from yours such as political or religious views? Do you not agree with the way they talk to or treat your spouse? Spend time really thinking about what it is about the in-laws that bothers you.

Once you determine what the main issue is, you can feel more centered and figure out how to better cope.

  1. Ensure Your Partner Has Your Back

In any case, ensure your partner has your back. You two are a team now and it’s important that you’re not trying to battle issues with your in-laws on your own. Your partner’s support is going to play a huge role in how you deal with the issue.

Keep in mind that it’s important not to disrespect your in-laws or your partner while having this conversation. Try not to make it seem like you’re opposing them. Rather, focus on a healthy conversation about what is making it difficult for you, how you are affected and how your spouse and you can work on it together.

  1. Set Boundaries and Limits 

Set family boundaries and limits with your spouse for everyone to follow. Keep your in-laws aware of all these boundaries. For example, if you don’t want your children having a certain type of drink such as soda after a certain time of day, be sure to let your in-laws know about these rules.

All boundaries that are set in stone should be told to all in-laws. Letting them know the rules ahead of time is a good way to ensure they’re followed.

  1. Communicate 

Whenever there is an issue, be sure to communicate with either your partner or your in-laws directly. You may want to use your spouse for communication purposes if you feel uncomfortable communicating with them directly. You want to remain open about anything that’s bothering you and be open to understanding what might be bothering them. For example, if an in-law did something that hurt your feelings, don’t hold it in, let your partner or you communicate those feelings with that in-law directly.

This also gives them the opportunity to apologize or even let you know what might be bothering them. When something does come up, you also want to address it as soon as possible to relieve tension. In some cases, it could even be a simple misunderstanding.

Dealing With Your In-Laws Doesn’t Have to be Difficult!

Dealing with your in-laws may not be as pleasant as you hoped, but it is important to make sure your feelings and boundaries are considered either by them or more importantly your partner.

Feel like you have questions about your in-laws and need more direction? If you want to sit with an experienced therapist who can offer sound, practical, and effective tools on how to improve communication and deal with your in-laws, click here: Couples Counseling.