Prevent Marriage Problems: Spend Quality Time with In-laws Early

October 26, 2008 by Carol Forsloff  
Published in Marriage

Many marriage problems are caused by difficulties with in-laws. Make friends with prospective new family members early in order to prevent problems later, recommends author Carol Forsloff; and here’s how to do it.

Before you take that very important stroll that will cement new family relationships, get to know those in-laws first. Movies might make you laugh at the faults and foibles of families merging, but many times those mergers become like business relationships, where the company you keep might not be the company you want at a time when it may be difficult to do anything about it.

You’re in love, and no one other than Mark or Betty will do. It’s important to find out early on how important family is to the prospective spouse, whether that’s a brother or sister or the whole family group as a package. If your love loves someone you think you can’t, it’s important to make the bond with that person you worry about before taking those final vows. As difficult as it seems to break an engagement, it’s a lot more difficult to end a marriage, as most folks have heard or know from experience.

Get beyond formal dinners for those early meetings. Spend time on different occasions: a picnic, an evening in front of television, a dinner out, a breakfast in the family compound. Going to see those potential in laws at varying times will allow you to discover what’s habit, what’s not. Mark’s daddy might be great at the family holiday dinner but belligerent and difficult on informal occasions. If Mark and his dad are close, several problems might happen. Mark may pattern his behavior after his father, and you just haven’t had enough stress or opportunities to see Mark when he could be someone you wouldn’t like, just like daddy.

If daddy is a problem or sister Sue, talk it over with your Mark or Betty. Many times family problems can be prevented by conversation. If you can’t talk about issues before getting married, later on won’t it won’t get easier. So sit right down and get the concerns out early on. Chances are you’ll either get the problems solved or discover that it might not be a good idea to make that loving relationship you anticipate as marriage but instead a way station on the way to finding Mr. or Miss Right before being wrong.

Spend time alone with prospective family members. Take your new mother-in-law out shopping on an afternoon and learn everything you can about what she likes and doesn’t. She may end up being your best friend or nemesis, but it’s important to learn that early on. Besides a nemesis can become a friend, however don’t expect that to happen after the knot is tied. Make friends first. 

The causes of divorce are many. One of them is having poor relationships with in-laws. So whether it is the brother, sister or crazy cousin you can’t stand, get the feelings out and the problems solved before proceeding to marry. You’ll prevent big problems if you take the time to meet that potential family now and maybe you’ll find that members of that family will be your ultimate support in a marriage crisis because you have made friends.

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