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Parental Discretion: Dealing With The In-Laws When You Don’t Necessarily Get Along

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By mia bolaris-forget

We all can’t wait to meet Mr. or Ms. Right, but can often do without meeting the people responsible for bringing him or her into the world. Still, he or she is “perfect”, so how “bad” can “they” possibly be. Well, that depends on how they see your and how you see them.

Fact is that you and your in-laws or future in-laws, despite the fact that they raised your beloved, may not see eye to eye and may be FAR from thinking alike. In fact, you may be left wondering how he or she is even part of that family. Well, you’ve got two choices. The first, to run far and fast; The second to deal with reality and realize that this may all just be temporary and in time, they may grow to like you and you them. In the meantime, here’s your survival plan.

· Put yourself in their shoes Whether you’re his or her first serious relationship or he or she has been “hurt” before, parents are protective of their “babies” no matter how young or “old”, and that caveat emptor instinct just seems to kick on the first time they meet you. Even if they’ve known you for a while, they may not be completely convinced of your “convictions” or intentions or your ability to properly take care of their “baby”, even if he or she had moved out quite some time ago. Plus, there may be some “jealousy” that’s rearing its ugly head with mom and dad feeling that they will now completely be replaced and obsolete. Add into the equations a different background, life ethic, religion, etc and there’s even more reason for them to be less than reassured. So, the onus is up to you. Be friendly rather than frigid and try to include them “more” in your planning and decisions rather than pushing them further away or shutting them out, which is likely what they are most afraid of.

· Keep a healthy distance and give them their space with their son or daughter: While you DO want to be part of the family and build a respect and bond, and that takes time. And, no matter your age and experience, you will always be younger than them, so its imperative that you keep that aura of respect (at least initially) and not try to be the son or daughter they never had or their best friend. Instead, even if its established that you’ll never be fully accepted, remain civil, polite and cordial, and don’t try to get closer when they don’t want to. And, don’t make the mistake of remaining in “awe” of them. Instead, treat them as equals and be yourself without being disrespectful. Finally, give them time alone with their “child”. Remember, you don’t always have to be present and know everything that’s going on or that they discuss. If your bond with your mate is strong enough he or she will tell you anyway. And, sometimes, it’s best not to get involved and not to know.

· Wear your heart on your sleeve: Make sure they know and see (for themselves) your love and respect for their child. Make sure you show him respect, consideration, love, respect, and affection, without going overboard. You’ll also want to make sure he is well kept, styled, dressed, groomed and fed. And, don’t forget to share stories with them about how you go out of your way for their “baby” and how much fun you have together. In fact, if you like them, let them know you hope to share some of these special moments with them too. It may not be easy, but it’s one way to endear them to you.

· Remember, honesty is the best policy: Confident that you’ve tried you best, but that it’s still not good enough, either remove yourself completely or speak up. Let them know in no uncertain terms that you feel their blatant disapproval and discrimination and that you don’t expect to be loved, you do expect to be treated with dignity and respect and won’t put up with anything less. Remember, you’re going to have to deal with these people for the rest of your life, so you both might want to find something about each other to tolerate and like.



Long Island Relationship Articles > Parental Discretion: Dealing With The In-Laws When You Don’t Necessarily Get Along

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