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The Remarried Life

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

Today's Goodies

  • 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 spouse
    • 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 picnics. 
    • 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 fallacy. 
  • 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 issues.    
  • Make sure you are united with your spouse.  This is most important.  Be in agreement about how to handle scenarios before they come up. 
  • 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 you. 
  • 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 somewhat. 
  • 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.         


  • None Mentioned.

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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 binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute!  Take care.