I asked my ultimate concierge about how to create strong relationships with your in-laws. He told me it is wise to treat them as good friends and include them as your family. Moreover, if they are great in-laws, go out of your way to be even greater. If they are not good in-laws, continue to treat them with respect because they are your spouse’s parents or your sister’s husband or a member of the family.
How to Foster Strong Relationships With Your Entire Family
Over my years, I have lived through dramas and joys in my various roles within our blended family as a daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, dual roles as mother or mother-in-law and the grandmother-in-law to my husband’s grands.
I have fostered loving relationships with most of my in-laws. I have learned ways to tune out yet continue to remain ladylike with my outlaw in-laws.
Traits to Consider
For these relationships to survive, it’s important to take into account the personalities of each family member and ask yourself why they are acting the way they are before you get flustered and lose control.
Human beings are not programmed robots; everyone is susceptible to weakness. We should remember this and act with forgiveness for our sake and the sake of the entire family.
My Experiences With In-Law Relationships
I was a loving daughter-in-law to one mother-in-law and respectful but distant by choice to the other, who I never loved or liked. Additionally, I am a mother-in-law to two daughters-in-law; one I truly love and the other is not a part of my life due to family circumstances. I have three sons-in-law; two are married to my daughters and one is my husband’s son. They are good men.
One I have never had a crossword with, one I have known since he was 18 and have dueled with him but I love him. With my husband’s son, I have no relationship with him (but I could have had a fun one) because of issues between father and son. There are certainly no robots in my family.
Creating Kinship with In-Law Relationships
I had, at one time or another, four sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law. One sister-in-law passed away. She was passionate about collecting bugs species so we had little in common. One is divorced from my sibling and we remain close. Another is the new wife of my sibling with whom I don’t have a close relationship because she will not forgive me for a few things I mentioned. I would like her to understand that all human beings are susceptible to weakness.
Last but not least is my ultimate concierge’s sister. I love my husband’s sister. Of course, I wish I was batting a perfect four out of four but we all know it takes two to tango and the tango is the hardest dance out there. My brother-in-law, my late husband’s brother, lives in Colorado. I respect and care for him, as we were always close.
Remain True to Your Values
Initially, when asked for my advice about how to build strong relationships with in-laws, I thought I would tell you to always do your best. And then I realized that is only half of the equation because the other person has to do their best as well. Here lies the hurdle: creating strong relationships oftentimes becomes difficult when there are personality clashes, jealousies, different values, and varied expectations.
I hold true to my initial thought: always do your best. This may take a great deal of self-discipline, but practice this approach so you can remain true to your values. If you lose your footing and say or do something you wished you hadn’t, don’t be hard on yourself or make an assumption that your in-law will reject your apology. Tell them you are sorry and mean it. There’s no need to carry unintentional baggage.
Doing our best at all times is difficult because moods change. We all do our best when we are in a relaxed mood, rested and have our ducks in a row. We tend to falter when we are tired and have a lot of unfinished business on our minds.
I have told you the feelings from my vantage point about how I create strong relationships with in-laws. I aim to do my best at all times and to be a good person even when I have been violated by an in-law. When I err, I feel bad and I apologize for my actions.
Taking Responsibility to Create a Stronger Family
We can only be responsible for our actions. We cannot control the emotions or actions of our in-laws. However, when hiccups occur, we have a few choices. When the timing is right, we can invite them to have a respectful conversation and discuss positive solutions or we can quietly distance ourselves from them.
The goal of having these conversations is for the benefit of the entire family. The relative with whom you are speaking should be aware that his or her actions are disruptive to the entire family and for that reason, he or she should do their best at all times. Amen.