6 ways to handle in-laws
30 June 2015, 14:31
Nairobi - In-laws are hard to rope in, here are a few ways to.
In-law applies to parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, second
cousins…basically all relations to your spouse or partner!
And the truth is, it is the lucky person who gets kind
in-laws that do not drive them insane. Appreciate them. Majority have something
to say or think towards their in-law that it not very arbitrary or kind for
Some reasons may be unfounded others may not. They might be
the problem, or you might be the problem. Whichever one it is, you have to be
cordial for the sake of your partner if you really love them and value them
being in your life.
Your partner is key to you managing the in-laws
The only way you will win is if you know their stand on each
and every one of them. Hear how they talk about them, feel about them and think
about them. So that when you want to present your case, you will know how to
approach them and what you can or cannot say.
It is better to already have them as supportive that to
haggle on something they will be unmovable on.
You have to be open minded
Unless you have a very cooperative partner who you can sit
down with and come to an agreement with when it comes to each sides relatives,
expect drama. When they can visit for unframed lengths, when they can ‘borrow’
an item or items, when they can make demands and what demands and what not. You
cannot expect the in-law to be as open minded as you will have to be.
The husband of my mother’s sister once came to visit at two
in morning without having informed any one. Banging on the gate was all
information we had. My mother had to be open minded!
You need the patience of Job
You have the type that do not know when to stop. When to
quit while they are still ahead. They also do not understand that just because you
married into the family does not mean you are their couch to lie on 24/ 7 365
days a year. They will push and push and push and they are usually the ones
that either brought up your spouse or got them out of the biggest bind. At
times they just came out of the same womb and your spouse would never raise a
word against them. You will have to take it and no that no matter what they do,
you will never win.
You do not need to be honest
With your feelings, your opinions and with your truths. At
times it is usually wise to keep your counsel. This rule greatly applies to
in-laws, dealing with them and when they bring a round table to your house.
Does not matter if they told you communication lines are open. They never are.
One word uttered can never be taken back and will always be remembered. Coach
yourself in your honesty when it comes to them.
Expect not to have them place themselves in your shoes
If they come at two in the morning. They will want to eat
and a place to sleep. You need to know they will not think about whether food
was available or an extra bed for that matter. Figure out how to locate them
because as far as they are concerned they are there. It is not you and them,
but them, them, and them. You can have a discussion later about what is permissible
thing is remember most are not empathetic. They go by the rule; your home is my
Pick your battles
‘You do not have to throw a stone at every dog that barks at
you.’ Self-explanatory but you get the point. You do not have to quibble with
some things. Let the small battles go such that when a bigger issue arises,
they will pay attention to you when you speak. If you are one that always finds
an issue you will sound like a broken record and no one will pay attention.
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