It’s a package deal – you marry your mate and along with him or her comes the fam! To go into a marriage thinking otherwise is delusional. Here are some things to consider when marrying into a family:
- No family is perfect – there is no such thing as the Waltons. Every family has a mix of personalities, and many of them will not be like the the man or woman you married. Enter into the family with a level of acceptance for differences and quirks, such as the relative who shows up late every year for Christmas dinner or the grandma who flosses her teeth at the dinner table.
- Although acceptance is important, so is knowing your limits and what makes you uncomfortable. For example, if being with a sister-in-law who uses profanity in front of your children makes you stressed, talk with your mate about limiting time with her.
- Set boundaries with family rather than cutting them out of your life. Speak your truth about what you will and will not do. For example, if you’re not able to host a holiday, say so, but perhaps offer to do something to a lesser degree.
- Find opportunities to express gratitude for something about the family member who grates on you. Gratitude builds bridges – judgment destroys them.
- If your mate is close to a family member of whom you’re not fond, allow your mate to have his or her own relationship with that person. Trying to separate your mate from his or her family not only causes your mate stress, but also creates resentment toward you.
Although the following link focuses on newlyweds, much of the information applies to marriage, in general. To learn more about how to get along with your spouse’s family, click here.