Darren from DatingPriceGuide.co.uk talks us through dealing with the in laws (from experience) when all might not be rosy.
After years of dates and relationships you’ve met your dream partner. They’re kind and considerate, have a great job, and most importantly want the same things as you do out of life. There’s just one problem, you can’t stand their parents or siblings – your in-laws (or in-laws to be)!
You can see yourself marrying your partner but the fact you don’t get on with their family is a real problem. It’s not just now that you have to think about but also the future – what about when you have kids? The problem between you and your partner’s parents could simply be a personality clash or there could be more to it. Maybe your partner’s family get too involved in your relationship? Perhaps they’re rude to you?
Whatever it is, you need to realise that they’re part of your family now. If you love you partner and want to spend your life with them, you need to find a way to get past the issues you have with their family and be the best ‘future in-law’ possible
You don’t have to be best friends with their mum or buddy up with their brother, but you do have to find a way to get along with one another. For your partners sake, if nothing else.
Be polite but don’t suck up
The reason you’re not a fan of your in-laws could be because they’ve never warmed to you. If this is the case, it’s often tempting to suck up to them in an attempt to get them to like you more. However, this isn’t the answer.
“Your partner’s family should like you for you, not because you spend your time sucking up to them.”
Make sure to always be polite and courteous, but don’t suck up. If they make you a lovely dinner, thank them and say how delicious it was – you don’t need to go on and on about how the potatoes were the best you’ve ever tasted. Remember, a simple thank you is all it takes.
Talk to your partner
Obviously, unless you want to start World War Three, it’s best not to tell your partner that you dislike their family. Instead, talk to your partner about the issues you have with them. If their mum still treats them like a child – offers to do their washing for example, or tries to involve themselves in your relationship, talk to them about it.
“Sit down with your partner and explain to them that the fact their Mum gets involved in your relationship or treats them like a child, is a problem.”
Say that although you know it’s because she cares, that the fact she does it, irritates you. If your partner knows what the issue is, they may be able to do something about it. When it comes to dating and relationships, honesty is always the best policy.
This doesn’t have to mean a full blown confrontation, just a polite conversation. f your brother-in-law pops into your house unexpectedly on a regular basis, don’t be afraid to ask him to call before coming over.
“You’ll have a much better relationship with your in-laws if you set boundaries.”
Explain that sometimes you’re having family time or are busy with something and aren’t able to have guests over. Or, if your father-in-law constantly tries to give your financial advice that you don’t need, politely tell him that while you appreciate his help, you’d rather he didn’t get involved in your finances.
If all else fails, you’re going to have to fake it. If no matter what you do, you just can’t get on with your in-laws, for your partner’s sake, you’re going to have to pretend. There will be family events and occasions that no matter what, you can’t avoid.
“No matter how you feel about your in-laws, aim to be polite and courteous when you see them and hope that they’re polite back.”
If they’re not, it’s them that will look bad not you, so don’t worry.
A lot of people don’t get on with their in-laws but still manage to have happy, healthy relationships. An in-law you can’t get on with isn’t the end of the world, it’s just a case of being smart about how you manage your relationship with them.