3 Rules for Getting Along with your In-Laws

Mother in law, daughter in law, and son sitting on couch in an argument

Hello everyone! We hope you and yours had a wonderful, happy, and healthy Thanksgiving this year. Now it’s back to work and busy, busy, busy until the next holiday!

During the holidays it’s always a bit tough to navigate families, especially if you are married and are also dealing with your spouse’s family. So how do you cope with in-laws during the holidays?

According to Karl Pillamer, PhD over on Psychology Today, there are 3 Rules for Getting Along with your In-Laws.

#1: Your loyalty is to your spouse

When you marry someone, it’s no surprise that you also “marry” their families. That can cause some strain if the relationships are difficult. But when you marry someone, you are promising that they are your number one priority. You have a “duty” to your spouse, and standing by them during conflicts with your family could make or break your marriage.

It is your job (and vice versa) to be the bridge to communication between your spouse and your family. And to stand up for your spouse when needed.

#2: Remind yourself why you are doing it

Everyone deals with stressful, quirky, and “out there” family members on their own side. So why not extend those categories to your in-laws? When you deal with difficult family members, it is easy to just roll your eyes and say, “That’s just Uncle John”. But it’s important to do that with your in-laws as well. You need to remind yourself that you are going to have to deal with the in-law relationships because you love your spouse.

When you handle your spouse’s family in a respectable way, you are showing your spouse how you are honoring your marriage and relationship.

#3: Eliminate politics from the discussion

Politics can be a difficult topic of conversation with your own family let alone your in-laws. Pillamer thinks that keeping this topic off limits at all times is the key to keeping the relationships positive and amicable.

When you disagree with your in-laws political views, the best advise Pillamer can give? Walk out of the room when the topic arises. It can save for a lot of uncomfortable arguments, and be a life saver in your marriage.

To read more about Karl Pillamer’s 3 Rules for Getting Along with your In-Laws, head on over to Psychology Today to read the full article!