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Marriage Manners Monday | Bylaws for In-Laws

In almost every marriage of two lives, you don’t just gain a life partner. You also gain a new mother, father and siblings, plus you bring your own set of parents and siblings into the mix.

Photo: Sweet Heirloom Photography

One of the biggest challenges in being part of a couple is to learn to manage your relationships with both sets of parents and siblings in a way that doesn’t collide with the person you want to make a life with.

There are so many scenarios in life; everybody’s situation is different and unique. But three main components stand strong to ensure successful navigation of the in-laws water:

Communication

The biggest impediment to healthy relationships is the lack of communication. Therefore, when you and your partner make a genuine commitment to clear communication, even the frostiest of relationships between in-laws can be thawed over time. Most important is having open and clear communication between partners in order to maintain perspective on any extended family issues you might be experiencing. Without the willingness to have honest and clear discussions about problems, difficulties with in-laws can too easily morph into conflict between you and your partner. So sit down and have that heart-to-heart chat about what troubles you. It’s way better than keeping it bottled up inside! (:

Willingness to Work at the Relationship Over Time

With clear communication comes the willingness to work at the problem. And sometimes executing a solution takes time. Not everything can be fixed over night; some solutions take time to execute. Cumulatively with time and constructive steps, you can work towards a better relationship.

Different Backgrounds, Different Personalities

It is becoming more commonplace to see couples who are from different ethnicities come together in marriage. So it stands to reason that different cultural backgrounds, political orientations and socioeconomic parameters can potentially lead to clashes between partners and families. However, if both families can exercise tolerance and acceptance, even different families can be reconciled to live happily under one roof, so as to speak.

All that said and done, the bottom line is that you and your partner – and your relationship – come first. Working on a strong and healthy relationship between two people will have positive trickle down effects to the families that are involved.

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