Some Advice on Living with In-laws

Living with your In-laws Question:

I’m getting married soon and I feel really nervous to live with my in laws. Can you please advise me how to be without giving them any chance to complain and say things about me please?  As some families love to control their daughter in laws a lot. – Deep

Auntyji’s Answer:

Deepji,

First, I think it’s important to remember that the most important relationship after you get married is the one between you and your husband. If you focus on building a strong and cooperative foundation between the two of you, the rest will follow.

That said, I understand your concerns about living with your in-laws – a new family. Living with your in-laws may feel formal at first but simple etiquette can lead to a good understanding and soon the much needed respect. Every family has their own way of doing things and you may find it difficult at first because it differs from what are used to. I suggest that in the beginning you be willing to be flexible and adapt to the new ways and surroundings. The adjustment into a new family is easier when one is flexible and willing to compromise.

This is not to say that you won’t be introducing your own approach eventually. You will. You need to bide your time in the beginning and slowly show your new family that there are other, often complimentary ways of doing things. For example, your mother-in-law may be particular about how the house is cleaned and managed. I suggest that at first, you simply learn how she likes it done and do it that way. Once you have settled in, slowly begin to introduce your own style of cleaning, cooking, and managing the house. Once you get to know your in-laws and they get to know you, they won’t feel threatened that you are challenging their ways. They may even embrace your new suggestions – as long as you are respectful when introducing your approach. After all, it is not a competition of one way being better than the other, but rather an acceptance that many effective ways can lead to the same end result. Most reasonable people will accept new and effective suggestions from their new daughter.

In addition to this, I have heard young couples say that one of the biggest issues that may cause conflict is when in-laws discuss important concerns with their daughter-in-law and son individually, rather than as a unit. I strongly suggest that discussions with your in-laws, which concern you and your husband, are done when you are both present. If this is not possible, then you should inform your in-laws that once you discuss the issue with your husband, you will get back to them with a response. It is the most effective way to demonstrate that you and your husband are a team.

Finally, remember that once you are married, you are an important part of your new family. While you have an obligation to be respectful to them, they also have an obligation to respect you. Your input should be valued just as much as others’ in the home. Good luck!

Aapke,

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