Future in-laws - Friends or Foes?
Marriage is not simply a union of two hearts but two families. Haven’t we heard this multiple times during Indian weddings? It’s an undeniable truth even in the nuclear family era. In-laws form an important part of the married life. It’s an honest task in itself, to manoeuvre through the wedding planning, raising grandkids (or not), supporting elderly needs and simply put, creating a new family together.
It may feel like starting your life, all over again. May it be living in your own space or sharing your in laws’ home, it is important that you get to know them much before you step into their lives. You are marrying their son/daughter or brother/sister, it’s perfectly normal if you feel that they are judging you at first sight. That said, we also recommend that you do not go by stereotypes from popular culture which regularly paints most in laws as toxic.
How do I get to know them?Spend time together
You don’t know them, they don’t know you. Spending quality time together will amply help figure unexpected sides to each other. You don’t need to always do it with your partner around, make your own plans. They are your in laws and this is your relationship. Go ahead and invite them out, indulge in activities, get to know them in your merit.
Involve them in the wedding
We know that the wedding planning is a very stressful part. We also know how protective each of us are with our idea of a wedding and absolutely avoid asking others to join in. But, let’s try this. Create your boundaries but let the in-laws get involved in your wedding planning, same goes for the parents. It is a harmless way to share the power that is often the root cause of conflicts.
Be kind, polite yet honest
Do not fake anything, you are not perfect and neither are they. It won’t be flawless but honesty brings in a certain amount of control on what to expect and where to draw a line.
How do I kick-start this relationship?
It is common to be nervous and doubtful when it comes to including your in-laws in the movie called life. But once you know them a little and have knowledge of their personalities, you can tackle it one day at a time until it becomes seamless.
- Treat them like family, make them feel included.
- Avoid confrontations unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Feel free to create boundaries but with respect.
- Be open to their cultural advises even if you don’t accept them.
- Try spending some part of your holidays with them. If you can, plan a holiday where parents from both sides get together.
- You may end up finding common interests, from sports to business. Be open and communicate with each other.
- Treat your mother, father, and brother and sister in-law differently, they are a family but also different individuals.
There are a hundred different kinds of human beings and your in-laws are people with their own minds. There are chances they may be kind, warm and wise. While some may be distant and cold. There could be others who are a little bit of both. It may feel harsh and bitter at times and it’s normal to be frustrated. Patience, clear goals and communication is the key. You can also seek the counsel of experts who help you understand these aspects which may seem alien to your existing adult lives. At The Little Things workshops, topics like these and more are touched upon to equip you with emotional ability to understand, respect and embrace various facets of a married life.