Some of us are very fortunate to have a great relationship with our In-laws, and some of us, well…try to avoid the visits as much as possible! For me, there is definitely travel time involved, so we try to see each side of the family every month and a half, and this has proven to be a healthy balance for all parties involved! Regardless of your situation, here are a few things to keep in mind so that you and your spouse can truly enjoy each visit. Remember, you’re in this together, and family members are part of the package deal when you get married!
1. Frequency: The first item of importance that you should establish with your spouse is how frequent you would like to make plans to visit your families. It is best to come to an agreement on this right from the start, so that you’re not faced with re-occurring arguments years down the road. Whether you have to travel five minutes, or five hours, decide how often you would like to visit with your families, and alternate traveling to see them and having them travel to see you. This will also hopefully establish acceptable visit times so that you’re not receiving the random drop-in!
2. Keep A Positive Outlook: Your spouse loves you, and so does your extended family! Be thankful for what you have and enjoy the people in your life that love and care about you. Most of all, don’t put on a show, be yourself! You’re not playing a role here, you are the wife, and you are fabulous (obviously…otherwise he wouldn’t have asked you to marry him)!
3. Agree to Disagree: Just because they aren’t like your family or they live a different lifestyle and have different interests, doesn’t make it wrong. It’s OK! This is where your spouse came from, and you love your spouse, right?! Besides this makes life interesting, and makes for good stories to share with friends and family!
4. It is What It Is: If you’ve married a real “momma’s boy”, recognize this and know this cannot be changed. Be mindful that more frequent family visits may be in store for you, so learn to embrace it! Often times there seems to be an initial barrier between you and your mother-in-law, for other reasons than the obvious (you’re now the woman in his life), so let’s not make the situation worse. Love her for who she is and open up to a relationship; just make sure that when it comes to your spouse, he knows that you should come first!
How much time do you and your spouse set aside for family visits?! What is your relationship with your spouse’s family? We want to hear the good and the bad, so please share!