in-laws family dinner

The term ‘in-laws’ usually invokes feelings of uneasiness. Indeed, strained relationships with in-laws is one of the biggest problems couples face. Countless stories abound of disagreements leading to long-standing feuds. Yet your spouse’s family members are your family too therefore it’s important to keep interactions with them friendly.

Celebrate Uniqueness

Your spouse’s family might have different traditions from yours. Appreciate these differences and draw from the positives that exist. You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see how much there is to gain when you stay positive.


Don’t be silent on your in-laws. Call them from time to time and find out how they’re doing. When they call, don’t be quick to hand the phone over to your spouse. Engage in friendly conversation for a while. This makes them feel valued.

Always Show Respect

Even when they don’t. Always strive to honour your in-laws. It’s a relfection of your character rather than theirs. If your relationships with them are always icy, investigate whether you play any part in the problem then work on that.


Allowing in-laws to drive a wedge between you and your spouse can happen easier than you think. If you call your parents while arguing with your spouse about something, of course they’ll want to be on your side. This strains the relationship between them and your spouse. Don’t allow in-laws to speak negatively about your spouse more so if they do it in an accusatory tone.


Don’t criticize your spouse’s family. Instead, ask for clarification if there are certain things you don’t understand. Take time to understand their personalities and always do your best to remain pleasant.


These can ruin any relationship fast. Don’t be hasty in making conclusions about what they said and taking things personally. Also, don’t assume they understand how you feel. Be clear in expressing yourself where needed- of course keeping things respectful.

Accept Reality

Some aspects can’t be changed, for example someone’s personality. Instead of going against the grain, accept them for who they are. Find ways of getting along with them that don’t involve pointing out their flaws.


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