Dealing With In-Laws

Learn to manage your relationship with your in-laws, no matter how difficult, with these resources. You'll find help for dealing with in-laws who come from a different culture, becoming a part of your in-laws' family business, handling the pressure to have a baby, and more.

Addressing Your In-Laws

Addressing Your In-Laws Not to scare you, but in some relationships, what to call the parents-in-law might be a major issue. That's because it carries such emotional overtones and has such long-range repercussions. In fact, deciding what to call the parents-in-law can set the tone for the entire relationship that follows. read more

Coping with Family Reactions to a Couple's Age Difference

Coping with Family Reactions to a Couple's Age Difference Tricia was a real beauty, a stunning redhead. On a quick glance, she looked no more than 25. Her figure was outrageous; her grooming impeccable. Only her hands and a few tell-tale wrinkles on her neck revealed that she was closing in on 40. But Ted, himself 25, loved Tricia's wit, generosity, and great looks. The 15-year age difference didn't matter to either of them – but it mattered a whole lot to Ted's parents. They were furious that Ted had selected Tricia. read more

Coping with In-Laws and Religious Differences

Coping with In-Laws and Religious Differences Don't Go There Never degrade yourself or your beliefs -- no matter how different they may be from what your in-laws believe. While it may not be the primary cause of all family feuds, religion ranks in the top five reasons for family friction and the crumbling of relationships. What can you do if you find yourself half of an interfaith couple? How can you demonstrate that you're more than who you pray to? Here are some ways: read more

Creating a Game Plan for Family Priorities

Creating a Game Plan for Family Priorities Okay, it's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work on resolving the power tactics of of your in-laws. How can you straighten out the power plays in your family? Start by figuring out what you want within your family structure. It's a waste of time to realign the power structure unless you get want you want. And you can't get what you want unless you figure out what it is that you really want in the first place. read more

Dealing with Holiday Conflicts (and Satisfying Your In-Laws)

Parents often don't realize the problems their married children experience as they try to balance loyalties to their own parents as well as to their in-laws and spouse during the holidays. If the older generation didn't experience the same stress, they may not be able to understand how difficult this problem can be to their children, especially to young couples just setting their own boundaries in the relationship. So, what can you do to deal with the conflicts in-laws can cause during the holidays? Here are some suggestions. read more

Dealing with Mother-in-Law Conflicts

Dealing with Mother-in-Law Conflicts "I can't do anything without my mother-in-law second-guessing me," Marjorie said. "She sees me wearing a pink dress and tells me I would look thinner in black. I put a sweater on my son and she insists he needs his winter coat. If I cook with butter, she gives me a lecture about cholesterol. She's always telling me what to do. I'm nearly 40 years old and she treats me like I'm a child. Besides, I have my own mother to nag me. I certainly don't need another nagmeister." read more

Dealing with New In-Laws in Your Second Marriage

Dealing with New In-Laws in Your Second Marriage Diane married Glenn after a brief courtship that began about two years after his divorce from his previous wife, Lisa. "Out of curiosity, I asked Glenn how his mother, Rita, had felt about Lisa," said Diane. "He said Lisa had been like a daughter to Rita. The alarms went off. I knew I might have some trouble winning Rita over to my side -- and boy, I was right." read more

Deciding to Join a Family Business

Deciding to Join a Family Business Family Matters If you're thinking about joining the family business, first clarify any unstated expectations with other family members to avoid ambiguity and bizarro assumptions. This will help establish clear roles and responsibilities from the very beginning. read more

Deciding What to Call Your In-Laws

Deciding What to Call Your In-Laws Follow these suggestions for naming your parents-in-law. Come right out and ask your mother-in-law and father-in-law what they want to be called. I know, I'm suggesting something radical here, like eating less if you want to lose weight or not baking in the sun if you don't want skin cancer. read more

First Meetings with Prospective In-Laws

First Meetings with Prospective In-Laws That first meeting with the in-laws usually takes place long before anyone thinks seriously of walking down the aisle. In most cases, you meet your prospective in-laws for the first time when you and your intended are still dating. First contact usually takes place so early in the relationship that neither party really believes that this is It. Here are two reasons why it's so important that you always kiss up to your date's parents, siblings, and assorted kinfolk. read more

Five In-Law Power Tactics

Five In-Law Power Tactics In-laws, like all other people, use several different tactics to get power. If they're smart, they go with the ones that work best, but for some people, any power play will do in a pinch. Here are some of the most common techniques people use to assert power over other people. Which ones describe how your in-laws get their way? read more

Getting Along During Wedding Preparations

Getting Along During Wedding Preparations How else can you help bring the in-laws together over the wedding preparations while getting the wedding you want? Here are some ideas: For the bride and groom… This is your wedding. If you have strong convictions on a specific issue, say so -- or forever hold your peace. Establish your identity as a couple by sticking together and making joint decisions. read more

In-Laws from a Different Culture

In-Laws from a Different Culture Words to the Wise Among people from Hispanic backgrounds, it is good manners for friends to embrace and simultaneously pat each other on the back. This is called the abrazo. read more

Interpreting Body Language

Interpreting Body Language We like to flap our jaws and rearrange a lot of air molecules, but sometimes the real message is hidden behind the words -- in nonverbal communication. Reading someone's body language, a form of nonverbal communication, can often tell you how he or she is responding to you. This is a great technique to use with prospective in-laws, who are unlikely to come straight out and declare, "Helen, I like this one" or "Lou, I think we have a stinker on our hands here." read more

Key Rules for Running a Family Business

Key Rules for Running a Family Business Relatives working in a family business can prevent resentment, rancor, and ruin by setting down a series of rules -- and then following them. Here are five key rules to ensure that your family business operates as smoothly as possible. (By the way; it may not be too late to set these rules into motion, even if the business is already long established.) read more

Resolving In-Law Power Plays

Resolving In-Law Power Plays Here are a few final suggestions to make it easier for you to solve power plays with your in-laws. Don't Go There People are written off or discounted when mean behavior is expected or tolerated. As a result, old complaints and power struggles keep repeating like a foot-long chili dog. Remember that revenge is indeed sweet, but it is a dish best served cold. read more

Ten Basic Rules for Dealing with In-Laws

Ten Basic Rules for Dealing with In-Laws Your in-laws are a crucial part of your spouse's life. This makes them a crucial part of your life as well. No one ever said it was easy to balance your needs with the needs of others -- especially the needs of an entire new family. But creating family harmony is possible -- and it's very much worth the effort. read more

The Four Stages of Getting to Know Your In-Laws

The Four Stages of Getting to Know Your In-Laws You can't walk before you crawl. In the same way, you have to pass through four stages on your way to developing a satisfying relationship with your in-laws. The four stages are: read more

The Other Man in Your Marriage

The Other Man in Your Marriage Here's Vinny's story: Family Matters To improve your relationship with your father-in-law, take time to validate each other and show interest. This can be done in simple ways such as having brunch together every Sunday or meeting for a walk once a month. There's no magic formula, only effort, caring, and kindness. read more

The Other Woman in Your Marriage

The Other Woman in Your Marriage Here's Ashley's story: read more

Your Mother Is Driving Me Crazy!

Your Mother Is Driving Me Crazy! According to popular myth, mothers-in-law are meddling, overbearing, and impossible creatures out to wreck an otherwise wonderful marriage. They think they are always right and that it's their job to always tell you the right way to do things (their way!). If this describes how you view your mother or mother-in-law, you probably feel she is interfering with your life rather than being helpful. However, if you would like your relationship with her to be different, read on. read more