Loving Your In-laws

Written by Claudia and David Arp, MSW

inlaws1Judging from all the in-law jokes, in-law relationships may be the most neglected and abused of all family relationships. How can you build healthy relationships with your spouse’s parents? The more mutual respect and enjoyment you experience with your in-laws, the more security and stability you and your spouse will enjoy in your marriage. So if you’d like to maintain a growing friendship with your in-laws, here are some ideas to try:

  1. Write a letter to your partner’s parents thanking them for a character trait or personal skill they instilled in your mate.
  2. The next time you visit your in-laws’ home, look for something you can do for them. Maybe you could run an errand or help in the kitchen or yard. Look for ways to serve them.
  3. Keep grandparents informed of your children’s activities, interest, and accomplishments. Grandparents especially love newspaper clippings and lots and lots of pictures.
  4. If you live far away and see them infrequently, schedule a regular visit by phone. The cost will be low compared to the rewards. Also e-mail is a wonderful way to stay in touch.

Above all, be grateful to your in-laws. They were the ones who provided the climate for cultivating all the attractive qualities in that special person you chose to marry!

Remember, in making family ties stronger, you’ll make your marriage stronger as well!

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