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Managing In-laws

In-laws are generally the family of your spouse. Well someone wonders, why should relationship with in-laws become an issue? In this part of the world where it is believed that you don’t just marry a person, you have also married his or her family, issues and squabbles arise a lot from the relationship between a couple and their in-laws, creating more stress on the marriage relationship of couples.

Mother-In-Law and daughter-in-law

This is the most common kind of in-law relationship from which conflict often arises. Most times it is born out of selfishness; the mother believes that there is no woman good enough to marry her son; she is overtly possessive of him and becomes jealous when he starts to divert his attention to another woman because hitherto his mother has been the focus of his attention.

As a daughter-in-law, what to do is not to engage in abusive verbal exchanges or fights with your mother-in-law because that would create deeper rancor between the two of you leading to more pressure on your marriage.

First, you need to walk in love. When God says we should love, He wasn’t just talking about loving good people; it means we have to love even the “unlovable”. Now that may be difficult on the flesh, but love is spiritual, it is a spiritual force that you switch into by faith. Once you start loving your mother-in-law with the love of God, things become easier.

Love is a place of strength, it puts you in charge and control, but hatred is the zone of the enemy, he can easily defeat you there. The love of God can break even the hardest of criminals; if you love your mother-in-law with the love of God, you would overcome that force of evil and hatred that is dominating her.

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Go through your spouse

As a wise woman, you should not confront your mother-in-law or other in-laws directly. If issues occur, report to your husband; narrate to him exactly what transpired. He is in a better position to talk with his mum and deal with his family members. The same goes for the husband too; if there are issues between him and the wife’s mother or other family members; he should talk to the wife about it, and let the wife address the matter with her family members.

Forgive and overlook

All the actions and inactions of your in-laws would not always be right and proper. They may see things from a different perspective and may disagree with you because we don’t all come from the same backgrounds and do not have the same trainings and exposure of knowledge. However, you need to learn to forgive even when they hurt you or worse still they don’t even acknowledge they are wrong. You need to learn to forgive, so that your heart can be free of grudges and baggage of bitterness.

Be sociable

People naturally warm up to people who are warm and welcoming. As a wife this is one good attribute you need with in-laws; invite them over to your place or when they come, give them a warm reception; let them be free to play with your kids except of course you perceive imminent danger. Otherwise do not be unnecessarily hostile or inhospitable. Study their culture and try to adapt as much as you possibly can. If their language is different, learn basics of it like good morning, afternoon and other major ways of exchanging pleasantries. Be respectful to them; in some cultures, respect is a major issue; learn their modes of showing respect and adopt same.

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Pray for them and yourself. When you pray for them, they would prosper and would be too busy prospering than to be finding trouble in people’s lives. Also, when you pray, God would shield you and your children even from the ones that have evil intents among them. Don’t forget that the angels of God are assigned to your children watching over them, they are accountable to the Father, not even one hair strand is permitted to drop from their heads.

 

Funmi Thompson

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