How to Make Friends With Your In-Laws
When you marry someone, whether you like it or not, you marry their family too. Many spouses dread the holidays when they have to interact with their in-laws. Wives often have trouble dealing with mother-in-laws who do not believe that the wife is taking good enough “care” of their son, while husbands can spend their entire lives trying to prove to a stern father-in-law that they are good enough for his little girl. This kind of tension is unnecessary and does not lead to the kind of spirit that the holidays should encourage. In this article, we will discuss how to make friends with your in-laws.
- Think positive. One of the biggest contributors to unpleasant dinner conversation and stilted interactions is simply the expectation on the part of one or more parties that things will be awkward. Plan to have a good time at the next family gathering and voice those plans loudly whenever possible. Your in-laws probably feel as insecure about you as you feel about them, so breaking the tension with positive expectations can sometimes solve the problem all on its own.
- Make a list of 5 things that your spouse has done recently that made you happy. They can be favors that he did for you or something funny that made you smile. This list can include something sweet she did with the kids or even just an endearing habit that he has. These things need to be legitimately positive and not something that will embarrass your husband or wife.
- Bring these things up in casual conversation with your in-laws. Generally the core reason that in-laws do not get along with the man or woman their child married is because they are not convinced that this man or woman is the one who can make their child the happiest they could possibly be. By giving them evidence of how much you appreciate your spouse, you indicate that you love and honor him. Your in laws will notice this small show of appreciation; it can greatly ease tensions and even lead to lasting friendships.
- Make a memorable family picture or collage. Using four or five pictures that include you, your spouse and any grandchildren, make a collage. Choose pictures where the kids are looking cute and everyone is clearly having fun. You can decorate it with markers, funny sayings, stickers or glitter glue. Do not use posed pictures here. It is important to show yourself and your spouse in action. This will help remind your in-laws what a good time your family has together and it will discourage them from worrying about their offspring’s wellbeing.
- Frame the collage. Place the artwork in a frame so that it can be hung on the wall at your in-laws’ home. This type of gift is often deeply cherished for the hard work that goes into creating it but, hopefully, it will also remind your in-laws of the love and fun that went into making the memories behind the collage.
- Give your in-laws the collage as a gift. Every time they see it, your in-laws will remember how happy their child is and how thoughtful you are.