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How to cultivate a caring relationship with your in-laws

Your relationship with your in-laws can be content and comforting. It does not have to be a nightmare.
Mayra Bitsko, FamilyShare Modified: June 16, 2014 at 10:59 am •  Published: June 19, 2014

In-laws are not always easy to handle. In many cases, they come off overbearing. They tend to give a lot of recommendations including how to raise children and how their child should be treated. In-laws have a mental picture of the person and life they want for their child. They need assurance that their child will be taken care of and live in a respected environment. So, when mother-in-laws and father-in-laws feel uneasy about their child’s spouse, they tend to take over the marriage by sharing the dos and don’ts. However, before this occurs, take the initiative to prove to your in-laws their child is in good hands.

My mother-in-law, before her passing, was wonderful. She knew her role. She definitely gave advice and opinions only when we asked for it. She trusted that we would do what was best for our marriage. And if we ever needed her, we knew we could count on her. The relationship my husband shares with my mother is refreshing. His experience with his former in-laws started off overwhelming and unpleasant. But after some time, they warmed up to him. So he made sure to cherish the relationship he has with my mom from day one. My mom never gets involved, but if we ever need words of wisdom, we know who to turn to.

The relationship you share with your in-laws should not be a nightmare. Work on building a positive relationship with them from the beginning. Leave no room for opportunities to hinder your relationship with them or with your spouse.


In some circumstances, in-laws do not reciprocate the respect you give them. They forget they have to treat you with respect – after all you are now an extension to their family. Nevertheless, treat your in-laws the way you want them to treat you. Of course you will not agree with everything they say or do. But never be indifferent towards them. Respect is contagious and they will eventually give it to you in return. Be patient.

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