Saturday, November 29, 2008

Living with in-laws

Sure, we have heard stories of hellish in-laws, but in truth, we know that they are not so bad, really.

Dealing with in-laws is a challenge every new wife has to meet, be they Malay, Chinese or Indian. For those currently living with their in-laws, there are a few pointers that may help with maintaining a peaceful relationship, or strengthen a bond.

Hear them out
Most in-laws don’t mean to be nosy or intrusive. They just wish to help, especially if it is their only son and only daughter-in-law. So, hear them out when they voice their opinions, even if you may not readily agree with them. Let them finish before replying. Be there, and really listen to them. This shows that they are important, and you respect them, their views, despite that you may not agree with them. As a plus point, you may also gain some extra info from the experienced folks.

Be Nice but Firm
It is most important that newly-weds be nice to their parents-in-law. However, being nice doesn’t mean being a doormat. Tell them, don’t shout back, when you do not agree with their suggestion; be it household, childcare, financial, or property. If you can’t meet some of their demands (e.g. chauffeuring mother-in-law to market every morning), refuse them in a polite manner. Explain and try to make them understand your situation. Don’t bow too readily to any request without considering, but don’t be rude when you stick to your guns.

Respect each other’s privacy
Newly-weds should have some space for intimate bonding or heart-to-heart talks; and parents-in-law should have their free time to indulge in their hobbies and interest. Just like how parents-in-law should not intrude into their children’s private belongings and intimate moments, the married children should also let their parents go on their own adventures and interests.

However, if privacy is an issue, both parties will need to sit down and talk to set some boundaries in safeguarding and respecting each others’ privacy.

Finally, it all boils down to putting oneself in the other’s shoes, positive communication, and willing to compromise. Once there is a common understanding, there will be less friction in daily lives, and in-laws and newly-weds can live in harmony, under a roof.

No comments: