How to deal with initial conflicts with your mother-in-law or others in the new family.
Whether you live as a nuclear family or in a joint setup, it is very likely that your in-laws will have a strong influence on your marital life.
It is not uncommon for a new bride to run into a few sticky situations with in-laws within the first few months of marriage – after all, you are your own person with your own set of beliefs and ideologies, which may or may not be in line with those of your in-laws.
From minor comments regarding your clothes to more serious issues concerning finances and religion, issues with in-laws are a normal, and a rather inescapable part of married life. Things become all the more difficult when your husband refuses to intervene in any way or does not seem to be taking your side. Remember that it is a tough call for him as well – he doesn’t want to hurt you or his parents. Be understanding towards his situation, but at the same time, convey your feelings as gently and politely as possible.
Your in-laws are going be a part of your life, so setting things straight with them right in the beginning is definitely in your interest. Your first conflict with in-laws may be just the opportunity for you to build a one-on-one relationship with them and open the gates of communication that will hold you in good stead in the time to come.
A good way to start would be to show that you genuinely love, respect and care for them. Once they warm up a little, you can tactfully communicate what is bothering you, at the same time assuring them that you are not here to disrupt the family. Be open to what they have to say and confide as you would to your own parents – this is easier said than done, but worth an attempt because it helps build mutual trust and eases some of their insecurities.
At this stage, it is important to understand that just as you are struggling to get used to your new home, your in-laws are struggling to get used to you! Their anxieties are not ill-founded either – for them you are the outsider who may or may not take care of their son as well as them. They may even feel neglected or sidelined because their son now spends a large chunk of his time with you. This anxiety may spill over to their attitude towards you, which can range from cold and distant to overbearing and intrusive. Understanding their state of mind will help you bridge the distance and forge a positive bond with your new family.
If all else fails, calmly talk about the issue with your husband but be careful not to sound negative about his parents. Work as a team to find ways to discuss the problem without offending the elders.
Some issues resolve on their own while others may need considerable effort on your part. As long as you have the will to nurture a harmonious, loving relationship with your in-laws, you will find a way to work around the trickiest of problems.
In close-knit families, conflicts are bound to arise. Judgements may be made, but how do avoid them? Watch this video to know more.