Settling into married life is hard, not only because you and your husband are just getting used to living and building a life together, but also because you married his family when you married him.
Here are 5 tips that can make your transition easier:
1. Be genuinely interested in getting to know your in-laws. In fact, from the moment you say yes to marriage, make the decision to open your heart and mind to them. Of course, it’s not always easy, but you can start by finding out what they like, what their interests are, and how you can help them.
2. Agree with your spouse on boundaries. This is absolutely important, as respecting boundaries are the primary way we show respect for one another. Establish boundaries early and let everyone know them in a gentle, loving manner.
3. Don’t start what you cannot finish. Inasmuch as you should love them just as you love your biological family, be honest about how much you can do. If you raise the bar high at the beginning that will be the least you’ll ever have to do. So make sure you don’t go over the top in a bid to endear yourself to them. Better little things you can be consistent with, than huge gestures you’ll struggle to sustain.
4. Find where you fit in. Of course, with your in-laws you’re a daughter, a big sister, a little sister and so on, but you can’t do all these in exactly the same way. Which relationships will be your strongest? Is there someone younger than you that you can draw close and mentor? Someone older than you that you can serve and learn from? Or perhaps a cousin or aunt-in-law with whom you share similar interests? Or will your focus be on loving and caring for your parents-in-law? None of these exclude the other, but it’s always easier to observe, and then find your place in the family.
5. Be kind. The law of kindness is universal, it applies to your husband, your in-laws, and everyone you meet. In all you do and the way you do it, in what you say and what you refrain from saying, let kindness rule.
Of course, having in-laws who receive you with open arms makes this transition easier, and in the same way, in-laws whose hearts are closed to you will be harder to handle; so make understanding, tolerance, and patience your watchword.
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