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One of my good friends is getting married in a few weeks. For her wedding shower we were asked to bring love stories or books on marriage instead of cards as she loves to read. I decided to bring her the book, “Things I Wish I’d Known Before We Got Married” by Gary Chapman. I have read the book myself, but started looking through it again.
I came across several chapters titles that made me think, “Mmmhmm, that sure is right.” I also thought about how this book would be so beneficial for ladies to read before marriage. I hope my friend truly enjoys the read and her heart is opened by it. But I also felt the need to share some information from one of the chapters with you.
Chapter ten is entitled: I Wish I Had Known… That I was Marrying into a Family.
Chapman opens the chapter by sharing a whole list of complaints he has heard couples come into his office with concerning extending family issues. He says there are five key issues that arise in relationships when it comes to the extended family:
- Religious Beliefs
As you can imagine each family and/or person has their own set of each of these. Holidays and traditions have been set by your spouse’s parents his whole life. Of course they still may expect him (and now you) to still be involved in them. We all have expectations and behaviors that we possess even if we sometimes cannot explain them all. Our in-laws are the same way. Possibly the strongest issues that can arise would be religious beliefs.
I truly believe the best way to combat any and all of these issues is for us and our man to talk and work through them. When Ryan and I were dating we figured out our families’ holidays and traditions and how we could make all of them. We have learned over the years what expectations there are and the behaviors of our loved one. Talking and working through these issues at home together as a team before talking to the family about our plans has helped keep us united and a team on these important topics.
Chapman goes on to say that learning these three things can make a big difference:
- Learn to Listen: Our in-laws think differently than us. Listen to understand where they are coming from.
- Learn to Negotiate: Make requests instead of demands. Each side can make a proposal and a counter proposal until there is an agreement on how the situation will be handled.
- Learn their Love Language: Just like with any other important relationship you should know your in-laws Love Language and speak it often. (I did a post about 3 ways to find out your husband’s Love Language. It will work for the in-laws too!)
When you marry the man of your dreams not only are you marrying him, but you are also marrying into a family. You can choose to make that a struggle or a blessing. Foster those relationships just like other important relationships with the tips above!
What has helped you get along with the in-laws?
Until Next Time- Truly Love,