Your partner’s family is a very special part of his/her life. They become a special part of your life as well. It is not to say that you need to perfectly balance your family’s needs with those of your in-laws. Creating a harmonious atmosphere with them, however, is very necessary.
This is no easy task. It’s feel like building a bridge when you’re trying to connect with them. Sometimes, you may even have to restore burnt bridges because relationship with in-laws is almost always not easy. But the good thing is, once you’re successful, expect plentiful worthy rewards. A good relationship with your acquired family is a good investment for your marriage. Here’s how you can achieve this:
1. Work with your spouse.
This is the most important thing to do. As my wife has reminded me many times before, you can’t effectively deal with in-laws unless you work with your partner because your partner knows them better. You have to understand that this is an effort that requires you working together as a team.
Never put your partner in a scenario where he or she has to choose between your side or his/her relative’s side. Having to choose between you and his/her family will only put him/her in an extremely difficult and awkward situation. What you need to do is understand the relationship that he/she has with her parents, grandparents, siblings, and other members of the family. You have to support that established relationship. Even if you find his/her parents highly annoying, they’re still his/her parents.
2. Set boundaries and limits.
Together with your partner, establish rules for your family. You two have to agree which is important and which is less important so that you can prioritise. For example, your kids like to eat sweets. This isn’t usually a serious problem, but when they start to refuse real meals in favor of chocolates or candies, it’s time to set limits. So as heads of the family, you and your partner should stand committed to your decisions . When you make household rules, make sure that they are kept by everyone at all times. This works well for the children, and at the same time, it also projects a clear picture of what you want to your in-laws: Your house has rules, and they have to respect them.
More importantly, don’t make a promise that you can’t keep. An example of this would be a historical event that shaped the world as we know it. Neville Chamberlain, the prime minister of the UK just before the Second World War, gave Poland to Germany in order to appease Hitler and stop a possible war. But the war still happened. How? Germany, knowing that the UK would just give them anything that they asked for, kept asking for more. That, of course, the UK couldn’t do. The lesson here is that, pleasing others in order to create harmony doesn’t work in the long run, especially if your parents-in-law are parents-in-law from hell.
3. Enforce the boundaries and limits.
Just like mentioned before, once you set rules in your house, make sure that they are strictly observed. If you say studying time is at 7PM, then there should be no more TV or computer games at 7. Again, doing so sends a clear message to the in-laws – that you know what you want and you want your rules followed and respected.
4. Communicate directly.
If something needs to be said, don’t do so through another person. If want to say something to an in-law, don’t ask your partner to do it for you. You have to speak to the person directly. If something – an incident involving you and an in-law- bothers you, deal with it at once. A small glitch can be a sign of an impending issue. An ordinary misunderstanding can lead to a big fight. If you overlook small problems, chances are they will develop into big problems which are often irrevocable. Work on solving misunderstandings before they become full-blown disagreements.
5. Know yourself.
Shakespeare, in his prime, said, “Do not remake yourself to please others.” If you’re a businesswoman, and your in-laws wish you’d be more of a housewife who always makes sure the house is kept clean, you’re under no obligation to leave your business to please them. You are who you are.
6. Don’t expect too much.
Don’t expect too much from your in-laws. We usually see on TV things like fathers-in-law acting like household handymen or sisters-in-law playing with the nephews and nieces when they visit. These are possible scenes, but are not true all the time. There are in-laws who just don’t care. To avoid getting disappointed, don’t set your expectations too high. If your in-laws turn out to be the ideal in-laws, be happy.
7. Learn to cool off.
Being highly irritable will do you and your family no good. Exercise patience even in the most uncomfortable times. Sometimes it’s better to do nothing, and let nature take its course. Remember, time heals many wounds. While you’re at that boiling point, play it calm no matter how difficult. Don’t say things you’ll regret later. No insults. Remember that once negative words leave your mouth, permanent damage has been done. You can’t undo it.
8. Be mature.
Sure, your parents love you. After all they’re your parents. But your partner’s parents are under no obligation to feel the same way for you. As mentioned, don’t expect too much. If they’re passive or if they tend to ignore you, take it as normal.
Put yourself in the shoes of your in-laws. Look at things the way they do, so you can have a bit of an understanding about the things that they want and why they want it that way. In this manner, you can please them more easily. Don’t get me wrong, though. This doesn’t mean that empathising with them would get rid of conflicts. No, conflicts will always be there. But when you know and understand the psyche of your in-laws, dealing with these conflicts will be a whole lot easier.
9. Be calm.
When you’re at a point of exploding, say nice things. If you have nothing good to say, just smile. If you can’t manage even a fake smile, just stay calm and keep quiet. It’s better to be silent than say ugly things you’ll regret later. That way, you’ll be doing your partner and your relationship a favor.
10. Keep your sense of humour.
A sense of humour always does magic. It makes the atmosphere between you and your in-laws interestingly light and carefree. Be careful with your jokes, though. Some people, especially tyrant in-laws, can be sensitive. But rest assured, tyrants aren’t so common nowadays. You can do well with jokes. But if you’re not much of a joker, then don’t fake it. You might say the wrong things. It will only make you look lousy.
You see it everywhere you go. Sometimes, despite your sympathetic effort to solve an issue in your marriage the problems go untouched. Your circumstances, the type of conflict, its deepness and the factors surrounding it are all responsible for the success or the failure of your attempts.
But if money, sex and child-care are the problem-causing factors, you should take special care to handle them. Let’s discuss some of these issues.
It may be regarded as the main problem-causing issue in your marriage. Every conflict may have as its starting word “money.” Most couples are unable to effectively handle this subject in an effective way so that the all the conflict associated with money reaches a state of uncertainty and the result may be of a severe nature.
According to Darrell Hines, author of “Resolving Conflict in Your Marriage” that if you have a mind to solve all the issues related with money you must be open and you must have non-judgmental communication skills.
In family, the couple will take more time to understand their family members. This may cause some kind of conflict in their life during the first few years of marriage. During this period of time they get to know their spouse’s family when they get chances to mingle with them. We can say it is the adjustment period.
For some couples, their in-law’s staying in their house is totally unacceptable and this attitude may lead to a number of problems.
It may be a vulnerable topic in many marriages. As it is most sensitive and may badly affect the living nature of couples, it can be considered very sensitive one having some benefit and disadvantages in marriage. Even the spouse, after long years of their marriage, hesitates to show or ask what they need from their spouse. As sex has been a very touchy topic, if it is handled with experience you will be very lucky in living longer with your spouse. So be open and honest towards your spouse. Discuss all the matters openly on what the problems are and whether it is possible to solve them.
There may be different opinions on child-rearing. It you are ready to compromise and if your spouse too has a same attitude on your views, then you can consider that you are free from almost all the marriage conflicts.
Time to think!
Is it Right?
You are always thinking only of your children and your jobs in a time-bound scale
You are exhausted.
You are going from pillar to post, so no time to think of yourselves.
Your weekend time is set partly for chores around the house.
Perhaps you both are starving for time and you are really empty for want of time for other affairs such as romance and intimate friendship.
Here are some warning signs.
Your life is devoted only to your child. Even though you wish you to have time for romance, it is out of reach. You are in danger.
You are going here and there without concentrating too much on the affairs of your spouse. Be aware of a possible danger.
You both are very sensitive. You feel irritated with little provocation. Something may have happened.
Both of you find it difficult to cope with the current situation. Disagreement and misunderstandings always haunt you.
It is several days passed since you sat together. You forget your date and life because you both were too busy to see each other.
Is a Solution Necessary?
By all means “Yes”
If you have expectations and dreams in your marriage, you can see some solution to your long-pending problems. If your work is time-consuming, one finds a way to trim it so that you can find a place to sit quietly. Taking stock of daily work both of you are doing is the way to improve the situation, and finding that some changes are necessary do immediately.
As a husband and wife, you should have your own time and world, at least for some time every day. Keep the husband-wife relationship up.
Remember to give your spouse any of the following, whenever you think it is necessary, if possible everyday:
Kiss or a hug, a slight head massage or a back rub, a morning snuggle or playing a game, taking a walk or just a daily chat, listening to music or play a game and so on.
Living a balanced life is not so easy for most. But you can make a change in your life. Trying to make your life more pleasant means you have got the technique of how to live a peaceful life.
Social activities, working overtime, chores, etc. are though better in your life, they can have a negative affect if there is too much.
Don’t read the newspaper with a determination that you have to read it completely. Watching the news every night, reading twitter and RSS fee etc. are good for consuming your time. Don’t allow them to steal your time even though they are all necessary.
At least one date night each month should be reserved for both of you. Don’t change that date.
If you can send emails, try it, as it is the best way to communicate with each other.
Try to make the most of your rare moments. Let your love grow unlimited, with a limited time.
Commitment is a powerful tool to have in a relationship. If they are committed to each other, a couple will do anything to stay together. They will be determined to stay on the right path and will know how to avoid the pieces of broken glass along the way. They will seek to please each other and uphold their marriage vows. When problems come inevitably, they will not be shaken but will be brought closer together. Financial woes. Temptation. Difficult in-laws. Put through anything, a committed couple will come out strong and shining.
There have been several studies on the impact of marriage on cardiovascular health. It explains how our body reacts with it. Some men and women having borderline high blood pressure have been subjected to the study for three years. It revealed that the blood pressure is directly linked to how much the couple like to share and do things together.
If your spouse is not good enough to accommodate you in the mind, then the choice you have to opt for is to remove yourself from this situation as far as possible. In other words, it is better to avoid the critical situation with your spouse. Help your blood pressure come down so that we live longer.
Do not worry if your marriage provides you with pleasure. You may be the luckiest person in the world. Let your heart palpitate healthily. It has been proven by experiment that those couples having a good marital relationship will have a thin walled heart, unlike those whose post-married life gets worse day by day.
Those who lead a happy married life will have normal blood pressure, normal pulse rate and a peaceful brain. Those who are always ready to aggravate each other will have to face severe consequences in their body later in life. The stress will be a real issue in their life. Your body, your immune system, your emotion and your peace of mind are all subjected to severe change.
So always try to be calm. You have to go along a serene life path with your life partner, leaving behind all the bad qualities. Life is good if your desire is small.
Many people believe in the cliché, “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I guess it remains true that if you weigh 300 pounds and eat seven pounds of burger patty in two minutes, your spouse will still love you. Many believe that true love sees through the layers of fat; and I can agree with them. I’ve seen many testimonials to this. But I also believe that not all people have the capacity for that kind of love.
A Reuters article discusses how the three-year glitch has replaced the seven-year itch. The report is based on survey results done on couples who have been married for more than three years. Results indicate that “love” tends to turn sour when the marriage hits the three-year mark. High up on the list of factors is weight gain. You can continue to believe that love is blind, that it refuses to see love handles and beer bellies. But, on the other hand, if you allow yourself to swell like a balloon, you must be prepared to face the consequences of your choices, practically speaking. Sadly, some people put much emphasis on physical attractiveness. If your spouse is one of them, and you’ve allowed yourself to get flabby, you might see your marriage go down the drain soon. Get up and do something. Exercise.
• Exercise is important because it keeps you fit.
Your best reason for exercising must be to keep healthy. When you’re fit, you don’t fall ill easily. Getting sick creates stress and financial woes, although you can’t expect everybody to feel well all the time. Being healthy allows you to enjoy your marriage and do fun activities with your spouse and children.
• Exercise removes cobwebs and clears your mind.
Studies show that exercise releases certain chemicals in your brain. This makes you feel happy and refreshed afterwards. Exercise, as simple as brisk walking, clears the mind. A Reader’s Digest report mentioned that people like Wordsworth, who wrote beautiful poems, were avid walkers. When your mind is refreshed, you’re not prone to losing your temper. When you don’t flare up easily, there are fewer arguments. You might even learn to appreciate nature. How about stargazing with your spouse tonight?
• Exercise makes you feel good about yourself.
Based on the Reuters article, we can conclude that physical appearance does matter. A lot of marriages fail because the wife rarely combs her hair or doesn’t put much effort to smell and look good. As a result, her husband loses interest in her. Or it could be the other way around, the wife losing interest in her husband. Maybe his belly is growing at a rate of one centimeter a week, indicative of poor habits. It’s worth mentioning that snoring is also one factor contributing to the three-year glitch.
Exercise doesn’t only have physical benefits, but also mental and emotional. It can do wonders for your marriage. You might find these tips handy:
• Set aside time for exercise. You don’t need expensive equipment to work out a sweat.
• Do exercises that are right for you. This may mean consulting with a health expert first.
• Exercise with your spouse. Jog and take brisk walks together at the park. Go to the gym together. Make and follow a diet plan together. That would be so much fun.
• Go to sports classes together. It’s never too late to learn something new. It can add variety to your daily activities.
When you exercise and follow a healthy lifestyle, your body isn’t the only thing to benefit. Your marriage is also kept fit and in shape. Have a happy time exercising with your spouse.
Love is the greatest gift you can give to your spouse. It should be the foundation of your marriage. There are various ways you can show love to your spouse. They don’t have to be grand. Go for nice and simple but memorable. Put in an element of surprise. Be imaginative.
Make your marriage interesting by doing small things that demonstrate that you care. You can only pull this off if your love is true. Love your spouse truthfully. Be sincere. Some individuals are not very vocal about their feelings, so they express their love through actions. Being subtle may be more effective.
Here are five subtle ways to show your love:
1. Massage your spouse to relieve the stress of a hard day’s work. Do this when he or she least expects it. It can give a little thrill.
2. Surprise your spouse with sweet notes. You can leave them where you expect him or her to find them. Spray a little of your perfume or scent on the notes.
3. Show some appreciation. Don’t miss a day without saying kind and encouraging words to your spouse. Never hesitate to express your admiration. This helps boost your spouse’s self-esteem. Sealing it with a kiss will make it sweeter.
4. Surprise your spouse with gifts. Giving gifts isn’t just for special occasions. Even on ordinary days, you can surprise your spouse with the things he or she has always wanted to get for some time. You don’t have to wait for his or her birthday or your wedding anniversary to grant a wish. This is one way to keep the marriage exciting.
5. Spend quality time alone with each other. You can go on picnics, or if circumstances permit, plan a vacation. Take a break from your busy schedules, and have some relaxing and stress-free moments with your spouse.
Doing things out of the ordinary will remind your spouse that he or she is valued and important. Your efforts in saying “I love you” in different ways will never be wasted. It takes thoughtfulness and creativity to express your love even in simple things. Make your marriage more exciting by showing love rather than simply saying it.
How To Handle Difficult In-Laws
The verifiable truth about your in-laws is that it can be difficult to have a healthy relationship with them and have it stay that way. It’s even harder when you live with them in the same house. Marrying your spouse automatically made you a part of their family. Some are blessed to get along with their new extended family, while some are destined to be with obnoxious and tough in-laws.
Here are some points that will help you Handle Difficult / Tough In-Laws.
- First impressions are important, so be careful when you meet your spouse’s relatives for the first time. This goes both ways, but don’t be judgmental with them as you don’t want to be judged either. Just because your wife’s cousin doesn’t laugh at your jokes doesn’t mean he doesn’t like you. Give them a chance to adjust as you’re a new addition to their family.
- There are some people who are just nosy and who are completely annoying. Your partner’s uncle may be asking you a gazillion questions that are impossible to answer. Respect them, and just enjoy your time with them. Before meeting your spouse’s relatives, know their background first by asking your spouse. Sometimes, all it takes is a little joke for them to be able to be on easy terms with you.
- How to end conversations may pressure you more than you think. Always be respectful and modest when you excuse yourself.
- Be patient and understanding with your new extended family because you’ll never know when you’ll need their advice. Accepting them for who they are will make the situation easier because then you’ll know how to act with them. It’s always best to spend a little more time with them to know them better.
- Don’t pressure your spouse by blurting all your frustrations to him or her. Just because they are his or her family doesn’t mean you have to air it all out to him or her. It’ll leave him or her confused about whether to stand by you or with your in-laws. Never put your spouse in a situation where he or she has to choose between you and his or her family.
- Taking extra effort to show your in-laws that you’re willing to make your relationship work will be a big plus. Try planning a dinner or a short vacation with them. And if they live far, give them a surprise visit. They’ll surely appreciate the extra effort you’re putting in.
Watch the video below to get some more ideas on how to handle Difficult / Tough In Laws.
50 Cheap Valentine’s Day Gifts for Your Sweetheart (Without Looking Cheap)
If you’re like most couples, you’re watching your pennies this year and looking for ways to romance your sweetheart on Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank.
Valentine Day Gift Ideas
- Create an indoor picnic with available props, i.e., picnic tablecloth, paper goods. Share finger foods and favourite treats, along with a glass of wine. Spice up“dessert.” Enjoy your picnic on the living room floor or in bed. Play card games,board games, or make up your own.
- Decorate a unique-looking jar or box with craft items. Write numerous love notes on small pieces of paper and fill the jar with them. Present the jar to your sweetheart.
- Make a framed group of photos that put your relationship in chronological order of events, by months or years (depending on how long you’ve been together).
- There are many local and national Valentine’s Day giveaway contests with great prizes. Enter as many as you can and maybe you’ll get lucky.
- Burn a CD with songs that make you think of your sweetheart, and give it to him/her.
- For couples with children, get them involved in an all-family fun Valentine’s Day dinner at home. Mom can prepare a dessert for two and light the candles, while dad puts the kids to bed.
- Leave a note on your mate’s pillow expressing how special you think he/she is. Place a couple of mints on the pillow, too (or a single rose)…all to be discovered at bedtime.
- Create a favourite drink together. Try all kinds of ingredients. Enjoy taste-testing. Be sure to record the ingredients, so you can make “your” drink again on Valentine’s Day year after year.
- Buy two champagne flutes for use on Valentine’s Day only to annually toast your love. Keep them in a visible location as a year-round reminder of how special you are to each other.
- Create an at-home spa day for your mate. Deliver the gift in a basket filled with inexpensive candles, bubble bath, rose petals, facial mask and scrub. Then give your mate time to enjoy it. When he/she is done, heat up towels in the dryer fordrying off.
- Since Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday, celebrate with a day full of low-costactivities you both enjoy doing (depending upon your location and weather). Do something with your significant other that he/she rarely has time to do, but loves.
- Take a 2-hour, one-time salsa or tango dancing lesson together. Or, identify someother interest you share and find a place to give you one-time extended lesson on Valentine’s Day.
- Gals…Make the entire day full of his favourites: the breakfast of his dreams, the dinner of his dreams, TV that is his favourite, his music, etc. Don’t say anythingabout it; surprise him all day long.
- Take the person you love to experience something spectacular in nature: a sunset,a sunrise, the calm of the beach, share an evening walk gazing at the moon.
- Choose specialty foods, such as wine, cheese, fresh bread/dessert from a favourite bakery. Enjoy in front of your warm, toasty fireplace.
- Give each other long-lingering back rubs or head-to-toe body massages. Invest in luxurious lotion or oils.
- Watch an old movie at home together, with popcorn and soft drinks and candy-movie-theatre style.
- Share a scrumptious dessert and latte at a local patisserie or bakery.
- Pick a few household chores your Valentine usually does and surprise them by doing them before they get a chance, i.e., making the bed. It doesn’t sound romantic, but the thought will most certainly count.
- Walk around a favourite part of town, stopping at a nice locale for a glass of wine and appetisers.
- On Valentine’s Day, place three pieces of sexy underwear on your bed and let your mate pick out which one you should wear. It’s your secret!
- Write a “Top 10 Reasons Why I Love You” list.
- If Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday, if you’re a member of a wholesale club (like Costco) have fun eating all the free samples! Then fill any empty holes left in your stomach by going out to lunch. (That way you won’t spend a lot of money at a restaurant!)
- What’s a new activity you’ve both wanted to try that’s low cost? Do it. Or, how can you creatively modify it to make it low cost? Do it.
- Guys… If you want to cook dinner, remember, she doesn’t care what you make. There are many easy recipes on food web sites that look like you spent hours in the kitchen. Be imaginative and set the table special. Play romantic music softly while you dine. Leave the clean-up until morning! Guys or Gals… When you make that special dinner… Just like when you go to a fancy event and a “dinner menu” is put on each plate describing each food item,do something similar. For example, on your menu, write “Spaghetti & Meatballs,made with passion to be with YOU.” Don’t forget to give your “event” or “restaurant” a name at the top of the menu.
- Make a simple dinner at home, and then go out dancing or to listen to live music at a jazz club.
- Play a sport together that you haven’t played in awhile, or that you rarely get a chance to enjoy. Before you start, determine what the “winner” gets (making its omething to do with caring, loving, etc.).
- Leave a “racy” picture on your mate’s cellphone. Text a romantic message at at ime of day when you know things get hectic.
- Present your Valentine IOU coupons: I will make dinner; I will do laundry; I will take care of the kids one day a month for the next year; I will clean the kitchen fora week; I will serve you breakfast in bed.
- Together, go “shopping” at a sex-toy store without spending any money. It’ll give you ideas and get you “in the mood.”
- The tough economy has lured many upscale restaurants to have high-end early-bird specials. Find out what’s available in your area.
- Some volunteer fire departments use holiday fauna to create flower and rose bouquets as a fund-raiser. Prices are reasonable; just get there early.
- If she loves chocolate… Take her on a chocolate tour. Find your home town chocolate purveyor and ask for a behind-the-scenes tour. Next, go to a restaurant that serves her favourite chocolate dessert. Return home to snuggle with a cup of hot chocolate.
- Use a bar of soap to draft a love note on your bathroom mirror. Or, if you shower first, write a love note to your sweetheart in the steam on the mirror.
- Write “I love you because….” Notes and insert them into balloons. Blow up the balloons, and spread the balloons throughout your bedroom for your Valentine to pop and capture each message.
- Many drug stores with photo departments offer a variety of Valentine’s Day specials to make gifts from photographs. Use a good picture of the two of you together.
- Make homemade chocolate-covered strawberries: 1) Melt a packet of chocolate-chips in a double boiler and add a small amount of oil; 2) Remove from heat and quickly dip the strawberries into the chocolate; 3) Place on a wax paper and refrigerate for several hours until chocolate is firm.
- Guys… If you want to order flowers for your gal, supermarket florists are generally half the price of the stand-alone or online stores, but the trick to for seeing realsavings is to order two weeks or more in advance and pay for the flowers upfront………..Another trick to save money, get other guys who want to order flowers to join you and place your orders to the same florist all at once. The florist may give you a “bulk” discount. Again, it is important to plan ahead.
- Plan a scavenger hunt. Write clues and place them in envelopes, and place the envelopes around town. Make the final clue a doozey of a destination.
- Get a small radio and take your partner dancing at a romantic hideaway, such as the woods or riverfront or ocean.
- Use fabric paint to decorate a Valentine’s Day pillowcase for your loved one.Check arts-and-crafts websites for other easy-to-make gifts.
- What did you do on your very first date? Repeat it.
- Create a year-long calendar with photos of just the two of you above (top page)each month. Office supply stores will insert the spiral/binding for you.
- Have a progressive dinner. If you’re live separately, appetisers at his place. Entrée at her place. The main course, dessert, after-dinner drinks… map it out a few days ahead.
- If you’re married, one course at home, one course at her office, his office,etc. Use your imagination to set locations!
- Write new “updated” wedding vows, both serious and humorous, and share them with each other over a glass of wine in a candle-lit room.
- In the morning, tuck a love note in his pocket or her pocketbook or another certain-to-be-found spot. Jot down some meaningful words on a piece of paper- “Can’t wait to wrap my arms around you tonight!”; “What’s for ‘dessert’?”; “You make me happy every day!” – and tuck it in a conspicuous location to be easily discovered during the day.
- Have a 15-minute kissing session and try some new ways and places to kiss. The same old smoocheroo can get boring. Use your imagination…and perhaps a little whipped cream, chocolate syrup, etc.
- If you don’t have a special sweetheart, focus on bringing a smile or laughter to everyone you come in contact with on Valentine’s Day.
- What are your mate’s quirks and habits that irk you? Don’t nag about any of them the entire day. Then try to extend the no-nagging effort to every day of the year.Remember, you’re never going to change the other person.
Valentines Day Gifts Do not need to cost a fortune.