Jun 19, 2018
Brian Mayer discusses how difficult it can be to get along with
your partner’s family. You come from different backgrounds,
have different perspectives, different personalities, and maybe
bitterness and resentment have entered. Today we discuss
these issues includes ways that you can cope and hopefully make
things a bit better. We hope you enjoy today’s episode.
For more information and additional resources please visit our
website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com
- Navigating the relationships with your significant other’s
family can be one of the hardest things you will ever do. You
have entered the picture as maybe the second or third spouse and so
there already be some animosity from the very beginning.
- Today we will discuss the reasons that it can be difficult to
get along and then talk about ways in which you can help make these
relationships at worst tolerable and hopefully at best almost as
connected as some of your biological family relationships.
- Let’s explore the main reasons that there can
be difficulty with these new relationships.
- Your Partner’s Family really liked (and still do) the prior
- You have different perspectives on time spent together
- Personalities are different in that maybe you are more laid
back and your partner’s family is more go-go-go. Of course
the opposite could be true.
- The family enjoys different activities. For example your
partner’s family loves the outdoors like camping and fishing, but
you despise those activities and enjoy more short
- The family may be on edge regarding your partner being hurt in
the past and so they may reflect that on you.
- Possibly most important you may have brought baggage in
regarding your feelings about the in-laws if you had difficulties
with your prior spouses family.
- So what to do about this? Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a
magic wand that we could wave to make the relationship go exactly
they way we would want? Life would be so easy if everyone
just did things the way we did, but alas that we know is a
- Here instead are some ways you can cope and at least have
things go a bit better if only in your mind and emotions around the
- Make sure you are united with your
spouse. This is most important. Be in
agreement about how to handle scenarios before they come
- Be nice. This one is hard but sometimes
this will trigger better responses in people.
- Remember that sometimes that activities don’t always
have to be what you like. Bonding with the family is
more important. Of course there should be a balance in that
the family should reciprocate and do things you enjoy.
- Don’t take what is happening personally.
Mentally shift your perspective to realize that there may be things
they are dealing with or struggling with that are much more
complicated than being about you. Maybe your partner’s family
don’t typically verbalize thank you’s for the things you do.
Again shifting to realize that this is an issue with them and not
- Have some discussions with them if you see that these
other things are not working. Of course make sure to
not attack or criticize. Be concrete if you are describing
actions that they took in certain situations. This may not
change things but at least you can try to clear the air
- Remember to think before you speak because it is hard
to take things back. Sometimes when we are upset we
will say things we don’t necessarily mean.
- Ultimately remember that difficulty in getting along
with your partner’s family means that you will have difficulty in
getting along with your spouse. Invariably issues
will come up between the two of you regarding things that have
happened with the family.
- This is not easy and some of these ideas may not work in your
specific situation. The one thing that can work is changing
your perspective as best you can.
- As a final resort you may have to implement boundaries.
Take a listen to Episode 20 where I discussed more about boundaries
and what they are and how to implement them.
Thanks For Listening!
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As always remember that marriage is nothing something you have,
it is something you do. Talk to you next week unless you are
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about a minute! Take care.