Preparing for the Invasion of the In-Laws


If it’s hard to believe that your future in-laws were really responsible for creating something as wonderful as your beloved fiancé – you’re not alone! Learning how to deal with in-laws is a common challenge for many new brides, and it’s just as troublesome for your new husband.


Even if you’re one of the lucky few that have managed to find the perfect man with the perfect parents, there will still be times of conflict that involve your in-laws and your fiancé will probably not jump for joy every time your parents come to visit – no matter how much he likes your dad.


The In-Law Agreement


Spending time alone with your new husband is extremely important for a successful relationship, but keeping a good relationship with your families is just as essential to your happiness. Creating a balance isn’t always easy but most in-law conflicts can be avoided if you and your fiancé talk about your concerns and set a few boundaries.


  • Agree to keep your personal life personal. It’s not really a good idea for either of you to run to your parents with all the details of your latest disagreement, especially if the bad times are the only thing they know about your relationship. This tends to create in-law tension.

  • Set visitation rules. It may sound silly, but you’ll wish you had listened when your dear mother-in-law calls to say she’s planning a 2-week visit that starts in 3 days! Set limits for overnight stays and discuss their frequency; decide on boundaries for drop-in visits; note certain days or times that are strictly off-limits for in-laws. Each of you should let your parents know what you’ve agreed on and they’ll usually respect your wishes.

  • An ounce of prevention. If you already know that your sister’s habit of asking to borrow cash will irritate your future husband or that your mother-in-law-to-be will be the center of many disagreements when she calls her son to come over for dinner every other night – set the rules now and avoid conflicts later!

  • Don’t ignore them. Not only will they not go away, you and your fiancé need your parents. Set boundaries but don’t alienate. Plan ideas to include both sets of in-laws as often as possible.

Remember - if it weren’t for your in-laws, you wouldn’t have your handsome groom. Your parents, and his parents, should continue to be an important part of your new life as husband and wife. Communicate, be yourself, and accept the fact that dealing with in-laws isn’t always easy for any of the parties involved!

Last Updated: December 4, 2008 at 9:14 am
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