Some husband and wives adore their in-laws. Others, well, not so much. You don’t have to adore your in-laws, but if you want your marriage to be happy, it’s important that you learn how to tolerate them, and that you set up some boundaries. Setting boundaries about your in-laws can help to make a marriage run much more smoothly and can stop fights before they even occur. And the best time to set those boundaries is right after the honeymoon is over, so that there is no confusion about what’s going to happen.
You can’t set boundaries about your in-laws without having a discussion, so set a date for the two of you to get together, with no interruptions, to discuss your issues. Before you have the discussion make sure that your partner is aware of what the discussion will entail so that they can come to the table ready, and so that they won’t feel ambushed, and you, yourself, should get a list ready of things that you want to discuss.
Remember, during the conversation, that you’re talking about someone else’s family. Even if they have a hard time dealing with their own family, and often say things that aren’t very nice about them, you have to be respectful. You wouldn’t want them disrespecting your family members, even if you have problems with them. They’re family and as such deserve to be spoken about in a respectful tone.
Once you’re ready to talk it’s time to get down to business. Setting boundaries for in-laws may be a simple process or it may be one that takes some time, and to many couples it may originally feel like making some sort of a contract. These boundaries can be anything, from specific ones to more relaxed ones. Some couples, for instance, enjoy their privacy and so they agree to only visit their in-laws once every few months or so. Others want more contact and agree to go to dinner with their in-laws every few weeks or even more. The type of boundaries that you set are completely up to you. It’s most important to remember that your in-law is your spouse’s loved one, and that you need to take their needs into consideration, which may mean dealing with someone that you don’t care for very much.
What boundaries have you set for your in-laws? Are there any you wish you would have set earlier in your marriage?