Here's How to Get Along With Your In-Laws, Once and For All

Updated 05/13/19
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While it's common (and almost expected) for newlyweds to butt heads with their in-laws from time to time, what do you do when it feels like your in-laws actually might hate you? It's natural for there to be an adjustment period when it comes to welcoming new members into the family, and while your in-laws probably don't hate you, they may have unresolved apprehensions towards your relationship with their child—warranted or not.

If you feel like there are tensions between you and your S.O.'s parents, there are steps you can take to address any potential issues and help all of you move forward as a family. Ahead, find out what to do if your in-laws hate you (or if it simply feels that way).

Step One: Talk to Your Spouse

Tell your partner how you're feeling about their family and try to explain why you think they might have a problem with you. It's important to stay calm and do your best not to offend your S.O. or their family. Rather than saying something insulting that you might regret, try to articulate your feelings in a calm way. Perhaps you can say something like, "I feel like your mom is disappointed in me. Some of the things she says to me make me feel like she thinks I'm inadequate."

Save the insults for when you're venting with a trusted friend or writing out your feelings in a journal. This way, no one's feelings get hurt and you won't start more arguments than you need to.

After talking with your spouse, they may have some helpful advice for you—especially since they're closest with everyone who's involved. They've likely had their own spats with their parents and may know just how to handle the situation. Sooner or later, you'll have to get in on the conversation, but this is probably the best way to begin—let your S.O. pave the path for you.

Step Two: Apologize, Forgive, and Forget

Now that a conversation about your differences with your in-laws has been initiated, it's your chance to be the bigger person. Rather than letting out all of your emotions, simply apologize for whatever role you played in creating this tension (even if you think you didn't do anything wrong).

Then, forgive your in-laws. This is obviously easier said than done, but it's an important part of moving on. Slowly try to replace any hurtful memories with new, good ones and by focusing on the positives, you'll work towards improving your relationship.

Finally, try to put any past discretions out of your mind. The more you hang onto negative feelings, the more you can stew, and the angrier you can become. It's not worth the toll holding a grudge can have on your stress levels and on your relationship with your partner so do your best to let it go.

Step Three: Try to Meet Their Needs

No one is a mind reader, not even your in-laws. You can't possibly know what they expect from you and they can't know what you expect of them until you have an open and honest discussion. Once you've cleared the air and decided you're going to work on this relationship, you can ask your in-laws if there's anything you can do to improve your relationship. This way you can share your feelings and work towards compromises.

Of course, it's a two-way street, so they should ask the same question in return, and you should be prepared to answer. It's time to speak up now or forever hold your peace.

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