Notes "In-Laws"


Good Treatment of Parents & In-Laws

  • The key right of parents is to be good to them, to uphold good character in your dealings with them. The in-laws are like our parents, honouring them is like honouring your own parents 
  • Parents and in-laws may sometimes ask us to do something that sounds unreasonable but behind their request is a desire to know that they are still loved, that we still care for and value them
  • In trying to strike a balance between the rights of one's spouse, children and parents it is important to realize that sometimes we genuinely may be unable to carry out our parents' wishes. Having said that we still try to decline in a graceful manner
  • We can always benefit our loved ones through good character. Displaying good character is vital especially when we deal with our family or loved ones

Couple Identity

  • One of the most important parts in the early years of marriage is establishing your own couple identity 
  • See yourselves as a unit separate from the parents, and the parents will begin to see you as a unit as well 
  • When talking to parents, talk in terms of "we". You're no longer just their son or daughter, you're a son or daughter who is part of a relationship
  • Focus on issues like "how is it that our in-laws affect us?" or "what happens between us when the in-laws say something?" When you start to address what happens between you and your spouse, you begin to move forward
  • Often partners do not want them to fight with their parents on their behalf, they just want their partners to understand how they feel
  • For all kinds of support, parents are needed. However, making judgments or solving disputes should be kept between the couple
  • Part of being married and being married with in-laws or living within the same household, is gaining maturity around understanding when the in-laws can be most helpful and when it is as a couple that you need to find private moments and take the discussion elsewhere 

In-Law Interference

  • Interference from in-laws is a common problem which causes a lot of pain in marriage 
  • Two people who come together and get married, have to adjust to each other. Then the husband and wife have to adjust to each others extended families. When you get married, you have to realize that you are getting married and entering into a tribe
  • Keeping close ties with in-laws or even living in an extended family is common in many cultures. Though in-laws can be a great source of support, interference from in-laws can cause a variety of problems
  • The interference of the in-laws on the relationship starts to take away from that sense of the emotional connection between the couple
  • A common mistake that couples make is to take complex personal marital problems to their parents. If the parents are not objective, the problems can get worse
  • It is not easy for parents to be objective, they are one person's parents and not the other's and that should be kept in mind
  • It is not to say that in-laws are a problem for the marriage, in fact they can help a marriage do better but only if they are supporting the relationship and not trying to take the side of either partner 

Communicating With the In-Laws Before Marriage

  • To make it easier to establish a couple identity, future family members should share their expectations with one another 
  • It is important that couples sit with their in-laws before the marriage and have discussions so that the in-laws realize that marriage is something different then what they culturally perceive it to be. Right from the beginning, have a discussion and set parameters so that there is more cooperation between the two sides
  • Talking about whether or not you will share your problems with your parents should be discussed from the very beginning of the marriage 
  • When we see successful couples, we see a couple who are beginning to define who they are and how they would like to be, but it is combined with a family that begins to let go, and lets the couple establish something that the couple would like to be rather than the parents imagined it to be

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