In-Laws Out-Laws

You married your spouse’s family too! This may be truer for some than for others but interacting with your spouse’s family and developing some sort of a relationship with them is inevitable.  Your in-laws are a group of people who have a unique personal and intimate relationship with your spouse which existed long before your involvement with him or her.  Dealing with difficult daughter, son, sister, brother, mother and father IN-LAWS is a common issue that arises for many when families merge. It is not uncommon for a spouse to be tied to their family’s apron strings long after marriage which can easily become a source of nuisance for the other spouse. Families can bring the best out of you and families will bring the worst out of you. Readjustments will need to be made for all concerned .

A marriage is not just a tie between two people who love each other. It also marks the advent of another new relationship — the one you have with your in-laws.Dr. Samineh I. Shaheem, Psychologist

Some use humor to cope and while jokes, mostly aimed at mothers-in-laws, may provide some comic relief, they do downplay the seriousness of the role of in-laws in the breakdown of relationships. However, to be accurate it isn’t only mothers-in-law who may be perceived as “outlaws” within the family. Think about it … most of us qualify as in-laws in one way or another. We may be parent-in-law, sibling-in-law, or even an aunt-, uncle- or cousin-in-law. A loving relationship with In-laws has proven to help make a marriage stronger.


Here are a few pointers to help you manage your in-laws:

In order to avoid interference and skewed view of the relationship solve your marriage problems without involving your in-laws.

Don’t have divided loyalties. Your first loyalty should be to the person you married and the family you created with him or her.

Create boundaries. Make sure your in-laws know that the boundaries are not meant to close them out.

If a spouse has a problem with an in-law, the person with the primary relationship should step in to help sort out the differences.

Avoid criticizing your spouse’s relationship with your in-laws.  Always remember that your spouse grew into the person you’ve chosen to commit your life to under the love and care of your in-laws.

As an in-law. Always encourage your family members to stay TRUE and LOYAL to their spouses. 

Let your in-laws know, gently, that their concern and care is appreciated but they have no decision-making role in your family life.

When you misstep or misspeak, as spouses, you need grace and mercy extended.Your in-laws need the same!

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.-Romans 8:28