Let’s face it, conflict happens within a family—there is no perfect relationship, even if some families may seem like they have it all together from the outside. When you marry into a family, you don’t always click with your spouse’s loved ones, but you need to remember they are just that—the people your spouse loves—and their flesh and blood. We need to seek humility if conflict arises, and in so doing, honor our spouse and children and the bond they share with their parents or grandparents. Here are just a few quick thoughts and tips on making peace with your in-laws.
You might first go to an in-law one-on-one—after you’ve done a lot of praying, of course! Your mother or father-in-law needs to look into your eyes, hear the tone of your voice, and see your humility.
- Explain why you feel hurt. Reach out.
- Explain that you want to get along for the sake of your spouse and your kids.
- Let the focus be on you. Take responsibility for the relationship.
Realize that you won’t be able to change your in-laws, no matter how much you may want to or how much they need to be changed. Of course, as you seek to live at peace with your in-laws, ask God for wisdom. In Romans 12:18 it says “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.”
- You need boundaries so you don’t allow yourself to be walked on or torn apart in front of your kids.
- You need to be clear, concise, and honest.
- You may not be able to solve the situation, but you might at least be able to declare a truce that will allow your whole family to visit the grandparents. Life is short, and you don’t want regrets.
Excerpted from the Rosbergs’ book, The Great Marriage Q&A Book.