Not long ago, I was talking with a young couple and the wife broke down crying over the tensions they were facing in their marriage because of their strained relationship with in-laws. There was tension on both sides of their families, and the strain was smothering them. They had no idea how to fix it, but they knew it had to be resolved for the sake of their marriage (and the sake of their sanity).
One of the most common questions that I get asked on the marriage page relates to have healthier relationships with in-laws. Stress related to family dynamics is one of the biggest struggles married couples face, so it’s important to make those relationships as healthy as possible.
In addition to the seven important actions listed below don’t forget to do for your in-laws the things that make EVERY relationship healthier such as: Listening to them, praying for them, encouraging them, including them, honoring them, etc.
Here are seven simple (but vital) ways to improve your relationship with your in-laws and strengthen your own marriage in the process… (In no particular order)
1. Remember that your first loyalty MUST be to your spouse ahead of your parents or anyone else.
This one is tough sometimes and it can also be controversial, but but Biblically and practically, a marriage can’t work if one or both spouses are more influenced by parents than by their husband or wife. I could write a whole book on this, because there’s plenty of research, real-life examples and Scriptures to back this up. If you’re not putting your spouse first, or if you’re allowing your parents to talk negatively about your spouse, then YOU need to take action or the marriage might collapse.
#2 can be difficult but it’s SO important…