- Understand the whys
There could be many different reasons to choose living together with your in-laws. It could be a financial decision – why pay rent when you can save that money – or you could both have busy schedules and your in-laws are happy to look after your children while you’re away at work, or they have taken ill and you need to look after them, or purely because that’s how it works traditionally. Whatever the reason, make sure you understand it entirely. That helps you understand the context in which decisions are made.
- Focus on the positives
It won't always be rosy, but there are several benefits to living with your in-laws. It could be that you have your dinner ready once you're home after a long day at the office or that you never have to worry about finding a trustable babysitter with the grandparents always ready to look after their little darling. So when you feel that it's getting too much for you, think of the positives.
- Be yourself
Sure you want your in-laws to always see you as a sweet, calm, even-tempered person, but even the gentlest people often lose their tempers. Be yourself and let them know you and love you for the person you are and not the mask you’re putting on. You can't keep the act on forever!
- You and your spouse are a team
You and your spouse are in this together. In case of disputes, don't force him to pick sides between you and his family. Talk to each other and find solutions for problems/issues as a team.
- Communicate directly with your in-laws
Don't always pass on messages for your spouse to deliver to your in-laws. It's important to keep communication with them open, to avoid mis-communication and confusion.
- Be polite
If there's an unpleasant message to be delivered, do it firmly but politely. Make sure you get your message across, but don't get personal or be rude. Sometimes, you may have to hold back on the truth, but tact is often more important and it's a sacrifice you might need to make in order to live together peacefully.
- Don't get involved in arguments
If there's an argument going on between your spouse and his/her family or any other two members of the family, try to stay out of it. Let them fight it out and resolve it themselves. As you all get used to living with each other, you will adjust better.
- Take decisions jointly
Your in-laws might want to feel involved in what you decide and resolve. Take their opinions and give them a voice in decisions that relate to the home and family.
- Draw the line
Involve your in-laws but know where to draw a line and have your own separate life and decisions. Some things in life are personal and talk to your spouse and ensure that your in-laws know that those decisions/choices are yours to make as an individual and a couple.
- Hold your tongue
Words once said can never be taken back and can cause a thousand hurts. Silence especially when you're close to exploding from anger can sometimes be the wisest move.
- Don't tolerate abuse
Sure, you might have to deal with the occasional fights and disagreements, but do not tolerate physical violence or emotional abuse or harassment from your in-laws. If you're in such a situation, report it to the police or a women's NGO who can help you get out of the situation.
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