ERP 404: How to Manage Relationships with In-Laws More Effectively — Part One

By Posted in - Podcast December 26th, 2023 0 Comments

Navigating relationships with in-laws is often a subtle journey filled with its unique set of challenges, and it’s a topic that has generated numerous requests from our audience. As we find ourselves on the brink of the holiday season, these challenges may become more pronounced, making it an opportune time to address the intricacies of managing relationships with in-laws.

In this episode, Dr. Jessica Higgins provides actionable insights and practical tips to empower listeners in navigating these relationships more effectively. Whether you’re grappling with strained connections, seeking strategies for smoother communication, or simply aiming to enhance understanding within the family unit, this episode is for you.

Join us as we explore the nuances of in-law interactions, offering valuable perspectives to help you approach these dynamics with intention and foster healthier connections within your family circle.

In this episode

4:07 Navigating challenging relationships with in-laws during the holiday season.

8:49 A reflective inventory and setting realistic goals.

13:03 Relationship milestones, family expectations, and cultural considerations.

20:33 The influence of family structure on in-law relationships and the vital role of consensus in marital success.

25:56 A gentle approach to discussing challenges and setting healthy boundaries.

34:59 Tips for emotional regulation and proactive communication.

Your Check List of Actions to Take

  • Prioritize being on the same page with your partner, fostering a strong bond and supporting each other in navigating relationships with in-laws.
  • Practice emotional regulation by recognizing and slowing down reactions, allowing time for self-reflection before addressing concerns with your partner.
  • Communicate openly and proactively with your significant other about your hopes, wishes, and potential challenges in interactions with in-laws, especially before family events.
  • Take time for self-inquiry and inventory of your deeper experiences and feelings related to challenges with in-laws.
  • Acknowledge the impact of relationship status and development on interactions with in-laws, understanding that trust and comfort may take time to build.
  • Consider cultural and normative differences between families, recognizing that expectations and dynamics can vary significantly.
  • Be cautious when confronting in-law issues, ensuring a diplomatic approach and avoiding reactionary behavior to preserve relationship dynamics.
  • Recognize that relationship challenges with in-laws may require ongoing dialogue and iteration, emphasizing the importance of continuous communication and collaboration with your partner.

Mentioned

You Aren’t as Close to my Family as You Think: Discordant Perceptions about In-laws and Risk of Divorce (*NCBI link) (research)

Marriage and In-Laws: Factors Influencing Marital Stability (*Adelphi University link) (research)

Relationship Map To Happy, Lasting Love

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Email: [email protected]

About Today’s Show

Before we get started, I want to invite you to take a moment and turn your attention inward. So often we’re seeking, and the pursuits and the tasks that are on our to-do list. All with good intention and meaning and significance. And it’s sometimes difficult to bring attention inward and take note and take attention towards our inner experience; our nervous system, our bodily sensations, our emotions. We might be aware of our thoughts, but just giving even a little bit more recognition to the mental dialogue, and even that sense of self. It could be higher self. It could be a sense of spiritual self. It could be a soul. It could be something that feels like the essence of you.

Just making a little contact here, and perhaps even doing that with deepening the breath. When we can make a little more contact, typically this brings more awareness and allows us to feel more grounded in the present moment, which gives us access to a lot more of our power, a lot more of our resource. Rather than being ahead of where we are in the present moment, anticipating the future, and therefore not being as present and available. I know it’s sometimes hard to slow down. 

As I’m recording this, we are in the Holiday Season here in the United States, 2023. Many of my clients are talking about the busyness of stress; holiday demands all the activities, the added engagements and tasks to do. As we’re going to be talking about in today’s episode, even spending more time with family members that perhaps we feel some challenge with or difficulty with, or haven’t had the smoothest history with. Particularly, many people feel that with their in-laws. 

I really want to make welcome. If you’re in a long-term relationship, or perhaps deeply committed, perhaps not married, that you may be experiencing the dynamics of these. Even though technically you may not call them your in-laws, because of not being married. But I just want to welcome the relationships that are synonymous and similar to in-laws, but I’ll use the word in-laws to be the catch-all term for our partner’s family. 

There’s a lot to talk about with this conversation. I want to acknowledge, some of you may like your in-laws. If this is true for you, it’s possible that it has been a relatively easy, maybe even intuitive and organic process for you, meaning that you haven’t felt particularly challenged. I want to acknowledge that that does exist. However, it is very common for in-laws to cause strain on a long-term relationship or marriage. So I just know that there maybe are many of you who find the relationships challenging, or perhaps may not even like your in-laws, which will likely require you to put more effort and thought into how you want to deal with your in-laws, and also collaborate and have conversations with your partner so that you can work together. 

Just to put some context around this, typically, it takes many, many years to gain the comfort, familiarity, the bondedness that contributes to that sense of family. 

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“So often in the partnering, we’re so enthusiastic about our significant other. We just hope by proxy that our family members will feel similarly. Yet, for them, they’re total strangers, and so this does take a development.”

Just to put that into frame, as we look at the aspects of what we’re negotiating with in-laws, that there is a lot to consider here. I also want to say, for those of you who have a strained relationship with in-laws, feel particularly challenged, that it’s never too late to put the effort and the intention in. Or perhaps put boundaries and limits, so that you can take care of yourself. Both strategies help there to be more health and wellness in the dynamic, even if it’s not what you perhaps ultimately envisioned, hoped for in your relationship with your in-laws. 

One of the things I would like to start with, that I often reference here on the Empowered Relationship Podcast, which is to see if you can take some time to unpack, explore, take self-reflection and inventory around what you’re experiencing, and perhaps if you can get at the deeper layers. Understanding what it means to you, the significance around it. As we look at some of these perhaps difficult relationships, or even improving relationships with in-laws, that knowing where you are and where you are coming from will greatly assist you in negotiating relationship with in-laws more effectively. 

With that, I want to invite you to do a little self-inventory, turn inwards and ask yourself some of these questions. Before looking outward to how you might strategize or even collaborate with your significant other in game plan, that you take some time to understand what is in this for you. A couple of questions here for you to get started or even consider are: is there something that happens in the dynamic with your in-law that brings up a vulnerability for you? So if you look at the difficult interaction, if you can target what about it might feel sensitive or strike a nerve with you? See if you can explore that. Also, another question here. Are there behaviors you observe in your in-law(s) that you find difficult to deal with? If so, what does their behavior bring up in you? Similar question, just a different way of getting at it. So if you can target the behavior, yes, you might be able to pull or even consult with many people that would agree with you that that particular behavior is difficult or hard, and there may be some other people that don’t find it challenging. So what about it, if you could go a little deeper? Does it cross a boundary? Is it in direct conflict with a value of yours or a belief of yours? Or does it, again, strike a nerve of a tender spot for you, perhaps some previous injury or challenge in your past in relationship? Sometimes interactions will leave one feeling either insignificant or not listened to, not heard, not valued, and that can definitely trigger old attachment wounding, that we have felt that way in previous significant relationships. So that’s important to just understand and acknowledge, so that you can take care of it more effectively. 

Another question here. Do they have beliefs or values that clash with yours, politically, religiously, culturally? This, by very nature and virtue, is going to be an environment of conflict. How to just recognize where you are, what’s true for you, and acknowledging that. Again, so you can take care of yourself in a highly conflictual environment if these topics are broached. I’m going to give you some tips around how to deal with these difficult circumstances. Also, again, as we’re discussing here, even before we get fully into the conversation, just to take some note of where you’re at, some inventory and orientation of what’s been true for you up until this point. Perhaps your in-laws treat your partner or even you in ways that you find disrespectful, dismissive, and even maybe critical or judgmental. Again, if you can just target that, understand that, and see if you can access a little bit more information and emotion around that, that will help you know how to move forward. Perhaps the moves you make, or perhaps how you collaborate and the moves you make with your significant other. 

Along with understanding your present experience with your partner’s family, it may also be helpful to look at, if you haven’t already, what your vision would be, what your goal would be? Now, this may not be available, it might not be possible. And also to just acknowledge, what are your hopes? If you had a magic wand, how would you like it to be? So understanding what you would love in regards to your partner’s family? What would be ideal for you? Would you like to have frequent interactions and engagements? Or would you like to feel a sense of warmth when you’re together, but have a little more independence when you’re not together? Taking time to understand your deeper experience, more of these core emotions, will help you address more clearly what’s difficult. In turn, this will help you figure out ways to support yourself and come up with possible solutions.

To continue with this orienting, I want to invite us to keep in mind that depending on how long you’ve been with your partner, your relationship development, your status together, will have an impact on your relationship with your in-laws. I mean, I feel like I’m stating the obvious there. So for example, if you’re just beginning in relationship, you might be meeting your in-laws for the first time. If this is something you are approaching, or perhaps just for anyone, it’s a good reminder, that when we enter into contact with in-laws, that any relationship is going to be better served when we give good eye contact, we are engaged; putting our phone down, we’re present, we’re listening. This is not always easy. It sounds obvious, and yet, so often we can be distracted, especially if there’s meal preparation or there’s a lot of people that are wanting attention in the room and who to focus on. 

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“The more that we can really be in that present, aware, engaged state, then we’re going to likely participate in more quality interactions.”

Another really great reminder is to be in a place of generosity, expressing that care, being curious and being interested, making that effort. 

The other thing that’s important to know is that depending on members, any family member, there are different expectations. This could have cultural influence, depending on where someone is and their location, family may mean a lot; how people treat their elders, how you might treat your or in-laws, that that has certain expectations involved. I’ll raise my hand here and say, my husband and my mother got off to a pretty rocky start. Thankfully, over time, they have really developed a sweet, trusting, positive, healthy relationship. That was not the case in the beginning. Unfortunately, the time that my mother and my now husband then boyfriend met, my husband was deep in a grieving process. He had just lost his father unexpectedly, and he was in mourning. My mother knew that. But I think she was confronting some of her own expectations that Reid, my husband, at that time, would have been more gracious and extending and expressive. Now, just for a backdrop, my husband, on the continuum of people, is a little more contained. He’s not the most expressive person. So sometimes he just holds that. Then if he’s in a difficult place emotionally, he’s likely not going to be expressing that more, and then it might even be more difficult for him to reach in a very engaged way. So my mother was, I think, initially put off by that. She felt it was almost like he wasn’t putting effort, and he wasn’t engaging her and a lot of curiosity and conversation. I mean, he was present, but he just wasn’t soliciting a lot from her. I think she had just wildly different expectations. So that was a definite difficulty. 

Under the topic here of relationship development and status, I will say that often family members, whether or not they’re conscious of it or not, are assessing: will this relationship last, is it healthy? Obviously, they have loyalty to their family member, whether or not it’s their sibling or their child, and thus will feel protective. Again, this may not even be conscious. So over time, there’s trust that’s gained over time with consistency and continuity. Also, some families are a little more traditional, where if there is a ceremony of a wedding or a marriage or something similar, then perhaps that helps family members include and welcome and really invest in the significant other. 

I will say, with my husband’s family, who is perhaps a little more traditional on the continuum, come from the Midwest in the United States and tend to have family as a huge value. I will say, I thought I had a good relationship with all of them and they liked me, and it felt inclusive. My husband and I were together deeply committed for about six and a half years before we got married, and so I felt pretty well-established in his family and those bonds. Yet, when we got married, it was literally an overnight palpable difference around how they treated me. It was now that I was, like, somehow in. It’s interesting, because when my husband and I were reading our vows, I will say for myself, and he echoed this sentiment, that I had already been committed to those intentions, those commitments, and it felt as though this was a ceremony that allowed our family to be involved. So in some ways, I get it. And in other ways, I just was so surprised that we’ve been living together, we were very deeply committed, and yet this was a game-changer for his family mostly, I would say most of his family members I felt this way. 

So as we look at, again, the orientation of where you’re at with your significant other, and the development and the commitment there, it likely will impact your relationship with your in-laws. Also, just stating, again another obvious point, but it is important to include, is just understanding norms and culture. As we encounter relationship, there are a lot of aspects that are different. In covering this topic about managing relationship with in-laws, I am going to give you tips to consider. I’m also going to give you topics to consider. As I address various topics, I’m going to talk about the differences in families as it relates to different norms and culture. So that might be something to really reference if you’re straddling differences in your relationship, as far as families from different areas. Even families that are from the same area often still have different ways of operating. So I think it can be helpful to just to recognize those differences. 

One of the other differences I’ll just mention here is the family structure. I’ve worked with several clients in their relationship, negotiating family expectations and challenges. It is notable when one partner comes from a single-parent household versus a two-parent household, that the expectations and the role of the person growing up in that family dynamic is often different. Typically, not always, but the person that was brought up in the single-parent household will likely feel more responsibility to that parent, whether or not it is giving back, or whether or not it’s just they’ve occupied that role in the family dynamic and it’s been part of what has been. So it is important to consider different structures and how that might influence relationship with in-laws. 

There’s a couple that I worked with, and in this relationship, the husband, before they even got married, was very clear that he was committed to taking care of his mother, if and when that occasion arose. Now, the wife, at the time, fully supported that and was onboard. However, they didn’t talk about what that looked like. There was a lot of concern in regards to privacy, and how included the mother was in daily interactions. The wife was protective of her more immediate family, feeling like she wanted to have that independent family unit, and then relate with mother as they decided. I think he was more of the vein that she can come and go and be part, enfolded in the family. It was a very big conflict. She felt like it was almost intruding on her vision of an idea of family, and he felt like this is family; family is family, and that she should be and welcomed into. Obviously some privacy, but that she is not othered or separated.

This brings me to the first and perhaps the most important recommendation that I’d like to offer, is to focus on you and your partner being on the same page. Don’t go it alone as far as trying to manage and negotiate relationships within-laws. 

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“Research actually shows, regardless of how things are, the facts of the relationship with the in-laws for either side, the couple being on the same page, having a sense of consensus, having a similar perspective, is the greatest contributor to relationship success.”

I’ll put a link to a couple of articles that reference this research. In summary, one article states: “In-law relationships can act as sources of both support and stress for couples. Independent of the nature of the actual relationship with in-laws, it may be that the couple’s similarity and perceptions of these ties determines if they undermine or facilitate marital stability.” Referencing similar research, another article talks about: “The researchers examined common issues in in-law relationships, such as whether or not couples agree on whose family they spend more time with, whose family they call on for advice or help, and how close they are to each other’s families, to look at how these agreements or disagreements impact marriages. One of the most surprising findings was that neither husbands’ nor wives’ own reports of connections with in-laws, like time spent, family called on for support, closeness, predicted the likelihood of divorce over time. Instead, it was the disagreement about their relationship with each other’s families that predicted divorce. Clearly, a consensus, even about how problematic a relationship is, proves to be important to the success of a marriage.” So essentially, being on the same page in marriage, on big issues and small, seems to be the key to marital success. This is referencing Dr. Fiori’s research here. 

Being on the same page with your partner, having each other’s back, being in greater understanding and conversation, how to support each other, is a key fundamental principle in cultivating lasting relationship. This is something that is referenced on the Empowered Relationship Podcast often, so it’s no surprise. But I love to reference primary research to support this. 

While this might feel like sensitive territory to address this topic with your significant other, I want to encourage you to take a risk, perhaps go slow, and do it in a paced way. 

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“These are relationships that are going to be developed. So it doesn’t need to happen all at once. The more that you can understand what’s happening for you, the more you can approach your significant other about the challenge, in a way that will help them see more clearly.”

Rather than taking issue or criticizing a family member. Because that, obviously is going to, unknowingly, perhaps put someone or your significant other in a position where they have to maybe choose sides or defend their family member. When really, you’re looking for help, you’re looking for support from your significant other around how we can have each other’s back. So if you lead with a critical statement, likely they’re going to want to help you understand their family member. But that’s not what you’re actually after. So I want to encourage you to do some of that deeper understanding of what you’re needing, and what happens in the interactions. So you can show a clear signal to your significant other that I find this difficult, this is painful, and I want to improve this, and can you help, can we work together? Because I really want to get along better, I want to improve the way that I feel when I’m with your family. Sending that clear signal, making it very visible also helps in the conversation for there to be a clear goal: we want to improve the dynamic. Again, typically, this takes iteration and practice, and it’s not going to just be a one adjustment and then everything’s perfect. It likely will take some continual dialogue. So starting the dialogue can be very helpful. 

What I will say here is that what makes this more complicated, even if we have the clear goal of improving the dynamic and helping each other out, sometimes our partner might be challenged and feel that this is a growing edge for them. So more specifically, I’ve had clients where the partner, I’m thinking of one couple here where the wife was addressing concerns with her husband. While he could validate the reality and the truth of what she was saying, it was still a bit of a blind spot for him. It wasn’t until years later, in his own therapeutic work and his own personal growth, that he could recognize the significance and the impact of some of those difficult family dynamics that existed without his spouse. That just was part of his family upbringing, and it was very challenging. So even having the conversation could be confronting for your significant other, and just to recognize that. 

Beyond even recognizing, I would also add, being gentle here. That anytime we have been unconscious or have had a blind spot, there’s usually a reason why we have that blind spot. So there might be some pain associated or difficulty associated. So I want to encourage that if we can be gentle and curious, we can maintain that warmth and that sensation of having each other’s back, that security in relationship, that then we can look at hard things together. Rather than confronting, calling out, and trying to hold your partner accountable. Because if they’ve been unconscious, it wasn’t that they were intentionally ignoring this, or putting their head in the sand. It was this has been part of the way that they’ve coped, or part of the way they’ve adapted in their family dynamic. So it’s calling forth growth. Yet, to again be gentle about this, because again, there might be some pain and maybe even trauma associated with family dynamics. 

The other thing that can be confronting, I’ve mentioned boundaries earlier, and we’ll talk more about that in some of the tip and recommendation that I want to offer here. That if we’re going to our partner and we’re recognizing we have a limit, or there’s a boundary that is being crossed, or we’re wanting to assert, that a significant other, again, may see the validity and the value of setting that boundary. Yet, perhaps they haven’t done a great job of setting a boundary in their family of origin. Therefore, they can say yes, yes, yes. Then when the circumstance arises where the boundary would be put into place, the partner has difficulty. What this can then end up looking like, which would be very difficult and problematic, and opportunity for growth, for sure. For the sake of explanation, without using names, I’ll say non-family member and family member, meaning the family member is the one that their family members, their in-laws, the couple is engaging with. 

So let’s say the couple goes to the partner’s family, and circumstances arise, and whatever the instances where there’s an opportunity to set that boundary. Now the non-family member partner is ready to set the boundary, has motivation, and is perhaps making efforts to do so. Yet, the family member that’s the partner is confronted, and perhaps feels stuck, or feels like they just totally lost it; they’re not even thinking about it, or perhaps they’re frozen, or they don’t know how. Something happens, and they’re now pulled by their family of origin dynamics and whatever that role was, to even, let’s say people-please. So they’re people-pleasing their parents. So now, the person, the spouse or the partner that’s the non-family member, is feeling left alone, kicked to the curb or alone. Where did my partner go? Maybe even abandoned around this particular topic. So again, to say that this is challenging for sure. But it also can be curriculum for developing, that now the couple has an opportunity to say: Okay, look, that did not go the way we had intended. Again, I would caution against blaming and accusations here. But to perhaps be curious, what happened? That was maybe harder than you expected. Or what did you notice, and where did you get stuck? How can we improve this? 

Typically, the way couples operate is, the partner that is the family member is the one to take the lead in asserting boundaries, rather than the spouse or the significant other, and vice versa. So whomever the couple is with whose side of the family, typically the partner that that’s their family will take the lead. So as you can see, this can get very complicated. Because if the family, the in-laws, sees the partner asserting boundaries, and then their family member, the other partner is not saying anything, then it looks like the partner is being really controlling. Then that can be further ground for misunderstandings, and again, family members feeling protective and suspicious. I mean, we won’t go into all the details of what could go wrong. But as you can see, it can get fairly complicated. 

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“The bigger main point here is to focus on you and your partner being on the same page, and being in collaboration, trying to understand, and doing your best to have agreements.”

Again, those agreements don’t have to be set in stone forever. But that if you have something you’re working towards, that is in the spirit of goodwill, that typically partners can feel very motivated by and encouraged by, that strengthens the bond. 

As I’m looking at all that I want to share, I’m recognizing this is going to be a two-part series. So for today’s conversation, I’m going to offer you two more tips. In the next episode, I’m going to go over many areas to consider, topics to consider, as negotiating with in-laws. Then I’m going to offer you three more recommendation and tips to negotiate relationship with in-laws. 

The second tip recommendation that I want to offer or encourage you to be mindful of is, is being in the practice of emotional regulation. 

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“Emotional regulation, first of all, is just catching when you may feel yourself wanting to react. It’s a noticing. Often, we can’t just stop our reactions, but we can try to slow it down. If we can recognize it, it’s actually not suppressing it or stuffing it, it’s just noticing.”

Again, what we want to do is bring this back to our own individual process, whether or not we have a support person, a friend, a therapist, a coach, or even just journaling, or just even in reflection in that beginning stage here that we talked about, around what is in this for me, what’s coming up here? Then to bring it back to your significant other, so that there can be more understanding, more learning, and then even curiosity. Because as I’ve just mentioned, your partner may not fully have done their own process around all that comes up for them in the relationship dynamics. So there’s lots of opportunity here. 

So if we notice a reaction, just to catch it, identify it. Perhaps if you can, do your best to stay calm, and know that you’re going to give it time and space, but not in that actual moment. Because what happens with in-laws is the relationship still isn’t fully established often, even if it’s been years and years. I remember, and I’ll talk about this again in the next episode. But I have a personal commitment to do my best to not shy away from difficult conversations, including those with my in-laws. I try to be very diplomatic in how I do it, and yet, I still have a commitment to show up for those difficult conversations. Many of which, particularly with my mother in-law, have gone well. I’ll share in the next episode, one where I was feeling perhaps going too far, and I could feel myself backing away as I was doing it. So the delivery was subpar, I will say. But what I want to note here is that be mindful of what you are confronting. Because the relationship typically doesn’t have the strength that it does with your significant other, likely, hopefully, that your bond is with your significant other. So this is someone, as the in-law or family member, that you want to continue to foster a deeper relationship. Yet, it may not be at the stability to confront just in a reactionary way. Because what happens when we have a strength of a bond, we can tolerate a little bit more reactivity; we can give somebody the benefit of the doubt, there’s a lot of goodwill there, and we won’t take it as personally. So just to, again, remind to go very cautiously as far as confronting. If you can be more regulated when you do it, then likely, the delivery of that will be much better received, as it would with anyone. But again, even though it’s family, that if you’re caring for it, being conscious around it and conscientious around it. 

The third point I want to reference here is, communicate when possible. So now I just mentioned being cautious about how maybe you confront. I think communication is really helpful, particularly on the front-end. As I noted, often families operate differently, and we’re going to talk about that in the next episode about different topics to consider and all the differences that lie, that maybe we wouldn’t know to explore because we just imagine that it’s similar, when it’s not. So if we can communicate on the front-end, then we can work together for a shared understanding. What I mean by that is, let’s say you have a family trip that’s upcoming, where you’re going to be visiting your in-laws, or perhaps even making a trip together that’s more extended family related. Well, if there’s a particular rhythm and history, it’s likely you’re going to just fall into the pattern of that. But let’s say you’re are wanting to negotiate something different, or perhaps there has been conflict in the past. Perhaps it could be worth having a conversation beforehand. What this could look like is: “I’m really excited to spend time with you. I know that there are lots of things that we’re going to want to do, and I would love the trip to be exactly what we all want it to be. I’m curious. Do you have any hopes? Do you have any wishes or things that you’re wanting to see happen, or things that are really important to you? Or are there things that you really are clear you don’t want to do?” This can create an opportunity for more clarity and more strategizing, and game-planning, and perhaps even setting up a rough itinerary. So that things can be more organized, even before going into the trip. So then we can more or less relax into that structure, and it can be supportive and helpful.

In summary, for today’s conversation, which is part one, we looked at just the general climate of in-laws. We’ve also invited an opportunity for self-inquiry, and doing a little bit of inventory around what are the deeper experiences and feelings that you may be having as it relates to challenges with in-laws. We’ve also looked at the arc of a relationship and the development, as well as the status, and how that might impact family members, in-laws. 

The first recommendation is to really focus and prioritize being on the same page with your significant other; having each other’s back, being in support of one another, protecting each other, and having a greater understanding, really prioritizing that bond. Second tip is to be in the practice of emotional regulation, and that is to practice slowing down, noticing reactions or triggers. Not pushing it away or suppressing it or acting like it didn’t happen. But giving it time and space that you can devote to it, and it can feel more fruitful to process, and then also talking with your significant other so that you can continue to dial in how you want to negotiate. Not to say you get to control everything, but that you can take care of yourself and your significant other in these interactions with in-laws. Number three, communicating, if possible, about visions, requests, or needs. I’m going to talk a lot more about this as it relates to specific topics. But being able to set things up ahead of time can be a really great strategy. So let’s say you have children with your significant other, and you have a family, and in-laws are coming to visit. You can also lay out what you would like to see in that regards, and the arrangement there, and get everybody hopefully more or less on the same page. Again, that can help with interactions going more smoothly. 

In the next episode, again, I’m going to give you lots of topics to consider that will be helpful as you negotiate the terrain of relationship with in-laws, as well as three more recommendations to be aware of.

Signing Off

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