10 Ways To Get Along With Your In Laws. In our black communities, when you marry your spouse you automatically marry the whole family. Since you are from different backgrounds, you may not get along the same way you do with your family. The following tips can help both parties have a smooth ride as they become a family.
1. Listen To Their Stories
They’re likely to be full of stories about their lives either today or in years gone by. Let them tell their tales and make yourself a rapt audience of one. You might learn something interesting, and it will make them feel good be listened to as well. Many of the stories might be about your partner, and you might learn more about them in the process.
2. Treat Them Like Family
Treat your brother-in-law and sister-in-law as you would your own siblings. Be friendly, cordial, and natural around them. Be honest and open in your communication. Relax when you are with them. Don’t feel as if you’re being tested or studied by them. Share with them your innermost feelings and thoughts, if appropriate.
3. Spend Time With Them
Mere exposure to someone or something over a long period of time can inspire affection. Don’t avoid your mother or father-in-law, especially. When your partner proposes a visit, make time for it and accompany them there. Your in-laws will become more comfortable with you over time as they get to know you better, too.
4. Don’t Share Your Marital Problems With Them
They will always take their child’s or sibling’s side, and letting them know about problems on the home front will only make them worry. Nobody wants to hear denigrating tales about their own son or daughter; hearing such things will likely make them become defensive. Work out your issues privately with your spouse.
5. Set Boundaries Early
Many sons and daughters-in-law will be extra accommodating in the beginning in order to win approval and make a good impression. While such behavior is natural when one is nervous and new to the family, it is important to establish boundaries sooner rather than later. This will make the relationship much easier in the future.
6. Don’t Have High Expectations
Meeting your partner’s family might require you to go outside your comfort zone. Don’t assume that their family dynamic will be the same as yours. Perhaps your family is reserved and doesn’t show much physical affection, while your partner’s family is boisterous and tends to hug and kiss each other’s cheeks with gusto. Try to do things their way when you’re on their turf. Remember, “When in Rome…”
7. Speak Up
If you consistently feel unwelcome by your in-laws no matter how hard you try to be nice, don’t get pouty, or over-react and put pressure on your partner to choose, or sweep it under the rug and be the martyr/victim. Instead sort out what most bothers you, talk with your partner about it, see if you can together come up with a plan to effectively address it.
8. Reach Out And Be Proactive
You’re the outlaw and they don’t know you as well as your partner does. In such situations, it’s easy for everyone to feel awkward and go on default mode. Your being kind and gracious goes a long way in changing the emotional climate in the room, as well as helping form a good impression.
9. Be A Support
It’s easy for your partner to feel caught in the middle at times or filled with his own frustrations with his family. Time to stand by your man or woman. Be a support, but you don’t need to save, don’t heap on the advice, take sides, issue ultimatums. Talk about how hard it must be for him, ask what you can do to help.
10. Your Loyalty Is To Your Spouse
Life is full of difficult decisions in which no solution leaves everyone happy. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what a difficult in-law situation creates. When there is conflict between your family and your spouse, your place is on your spouse’s side. You must both present a united front to your families, making it clear from the beginning that your spouse comes first.