Welcome back to our series on how extended family can affect your marriage (often in very bad ways!) If you’re just joining us now, we recommend you take a few minutes to get caught up! If you’ve been with us from the beginning, let’s pick up where we left off…
In the previous article we looked at the very first item on the list of things you need to consider if you want to keep the peace in your family – setting boundaries. Now moving on, we’re going to talk about the next few important things to keep in mind when dealing with difficult in laws.
The Right Approach:
How you approach a situation is critical to how it will develop. The right tone of voice, the right attitude, the right choice of words—all of these things can make a world of difference in how a problem gets handled.
There is an old adage that says, “You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” And it couldn’t be more true when it comes to talking about difficult subjects. Phrasing a response to a harsh or unkind statement, in a calm and reasonable way will go a long way towards defusing a potentially explosive situation.
You can’t control how others speak to you. But you can control how you respond. If one of your in laws says something biting or cruel that was meant to lure you into an argument, choose not to take the bait. We know it’s not easy, especially when you’re feeling hurt or angry. However it will help the situation significantly over time if you choose to be the bigger person.
Peace versus Pride:
Being right is nice, there’s no denying that. But is it worth it in the long run if arguing about every misunderstanding, and correcting every incorrect assumption, ends in a fight? Sad but true: if your in laws don’t like you, fighting won’t change their minds. Or their behaviors.
One solution is making a conscious decision to ignore or simply overlook comments and statements that you disagree with. Or that you know were made specifically to hurt you. It will be hard at first, because not responding will feel a lot like admitting that you’re wrong, but it can be worth it if you hope to avoid a fight.
If you know the truth about yourself, your marriage, or any other aspect of your life that your in laws misunderstand, let it go. Keeping the peace in your home is priceless. And who cares what other people think, anyway? If you know the truth, then it shouldn’t matter what they say, and it isn’t worth fighting about.
In the next article we will be looking at the next few items on the list, namely respecting your family’s privacy and involving your children in family arguments. Check back for more helpful tips and pointers on in law relations. But until then, if you need help with your divorce, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled family law attorneys are here to help!