It can be quite a challenge marrying into a new family. Here are 6 tips to help ease the transition:
1. Get to know the family first. Before you marry someone, get to know their whole family. Living in different states or time zones shouldn’t stop you from meeting and getting to know them. When you get married, you’re marrying the whole family. It’s important to be familiar with them to avoid any surprises in the future.
2. Pre-marital counseling. Nothing destroys a marriage more than when two people are not a united front. Six to nine months of pre-marital counseling will help you discuss with your fiancé how you will handle difficult situations once you’re married, not only regarding in-laws, but as a whole.
3. Immediately communicate problems. Problems and misunderstandings will happen, even with the best-laid plans. Be sure to communicate these directly with the family member you’re having the issue with. Many times these issues are a result of a misunderstanding and are not intended to be malicious.
4. Be flexible. All families do things in different ways. It’s important to remember this and go with the flow when you encounter family traditions and concepts that are different from your own.
5. Take a breath. Sometimes people let things slip that can be hurtful. It’s easy to let words or actions upset you, so it’s important to take a deep breath and move forward.
6. Be respectful. Your in-laws don’t have to love you, and you don’t have to love them. Regardless of that, they are now part of your family. It’s important to treat them (and for them to treat you) with respect and be polite.