Squash In-Law Drama By Setting Boundaries
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Marriage can bring together two different backgrounds in one couple. While the couple may have figured out how to get along, their families may not have chosen the best ways to interact with the newly weds. The families maybe complete polar opposites of each other and every time they get together there is bound to be some friction.
End your in-law drama before it puts an end to your marriage. Harmony is crucial to a new marriage and to those who are veterans in marriage. In-Laws should never be allowed to disrupt your happy home.
“Good fences make good neighbors,” says Robert Frost, in The Mending Wall.
Set boundaries and rules for your in-laws and family to abide by. Having rules will level the playing field for both families and curb most arguments before they have a chance to ignite.
- No means no. Family and in-laws often believe that they still have privileges and priorities they possessed before the happy couple united. This may no longer be the case. No matter what kind of bargaining, arguing, currying for favor or pathetic behavior occurs, spouses must say no to extra unnecessary responsibilities that take away time and energy from their own marriage.
- Loyalty to your family first. Loyalty for your first family does not disappear. You now have a new family to put first. To build good self esteem in your children and build personal value for your spouse, make sure you keep a harmonious balance between being there for them and for your families. Choosing other people over your new family could have dire consequences. The patterns of importance established today can be reflected in your children tomorrow. Instead of attending a dinner with dad, a child may decide to go off and be with friends.
- Destructive criticism is a no-no. No matter how much a spouse tears down his siblings do not join in. Just listen, clarify or ask questions. Under no circumstance should you ever join in. Tomorrow your spouse will have forgotten all about what he has said and his emotions will be restored to a positive level.
- Drawing a line and setting boundaries. Before, marriage there was probably not much of a reason for privacy. Now that you are married, your husband probably would appreciate that the family not know everything going on in your marriage. Even better, he would probably prefer that they spaced their visits farther apart. Your spouse does deserve the right to privacy and should not have his business spread through the family grapevine. Both partners should sit down and discuss different ways visitations could take place without causing a violation of privacy. Communicating and promptly resolving intrusive problems will do more for your relationship than allowing in-laws to take advantage.
Do not bend the rules for anyone. Keeping your family’s personal space safe from intrusion will encourage a strong foundation in your marriage and family life.