Relationships with in-laws can create a lot of tension in a marriage and navigating these relationships can be difficult.
Have you ever experienced that tension? I have! 🙋♀️
As a mother-in-law with a mother-in-law, I know the stress in-laws can put on a marriage and on life.
Today, I’m sharing a few lessons I have learned along the way, from both perspectives of a daughter-in-law and a mother-in-law.
When children marry, there is a lot going on for everyone:
- The child is making one of their biggest decisions in life.
- The parent is handing off being the largest voice in their child’s life.
- The one the child is marrying wants to be received and loved.
- The child is wanting their parents approval of their decision.
- The parent is grieving what was and faced with accepting what is new.
- The one the child is marrying is accepting an often very different way of life.
It’s no wonder stress and tension can arise! There are a lot of deep core shifts and relationship adjustments happening!
My husband is an only child. I am one of seven! It’s not hard to imagine that once we married, relationships with in-laws created tension and were challenging to navigate.
There are 3 things I have learned along the way, as a daughter-in-law, that I wish I had known sooner.
1. It is ok to set boundaries and make requests. I was so nervous to “rock the boat” with his family that I didn’t think I had a voice. After becoming exhausted of feeling like I had no voice, I went the opposite direction and became controlling. In both scenarios, I created a lot of unnecessary hurt.
2. Honest conversations with my husband are vital! For too long, we just let whatever happen, happen and then we were left to deal with the dust as it settled afterwards. Having conversations to get clear on what I wanted, what he wanted, and what we BOTH wanted was imperative to reducing tension in our relationships with in-laws.
3. Communicating basic understandings with in-laws can have a big impact. There are many things I wish I would have communicated with my mother-in-law sooner. Things like:
- I wasn’t taking their son away – I was joining their family.
- There was room for both of us to love him.
As a mother-in-law now for almost 10 years, there are also many things I I have learned in this role the hard way.
1. My children’s need for me wasn’t ending. It just needed to look different. I caused a lot of suffering feeling like my job of being a mom was over. There is a beauty and a gift to being the matriarch and it doesn’t end when your children get married. It just becomes a different looking role.
2. My opportunity is to respect my kid’s choices and love their spouse well. While there are many conversations leading up to marriage, once my children have made their choice, it is my opportunity to respect their choice and love their spouses well.
3. Our children’s spouses are bonus kids. I was so nervous the addition of their spouses would change the dynamic of our family. The beautiful reality has been that they have added to and increased our dynamic.
As the matriarch, my role is to nurture my growing family into one worth having. That is a lifetime role!
These things are easier said than done in many moments, but they have become some of my greatest teachers in becoming who I’m committed to being: honest, curious, and loving.
🎁 Free gifts for you!
I would love to connect with you!