Married children and parents may have different points of view and if they are not dealt with, in a mature manner, they may turn out into stressed in-law relations and conflicts between inlaws, parents and children. Good, strong and healthy in-law relationships are an important factor of the life of married couples and if you have good relations with the spouse of your children, it can become a major contribution factor in the success of your children’s marriage. Good parent in-laws never try to intrude or impose upon their children, daughter-in-law or son-in-law. They give their advice only when the young couple asks them for their opinion.
You must remember how lectures bored us when we were young. Simply suggesting solutions and stating your point of view is the best way to counsel young people. It is best left to the couple to decide whether they want to act as you suggested or not. Let the couple struggle to be financially and emotionally independent and do not offer financial aid or support until the young couple explicitly requests it. Let them handle their own trials and learn their own lessons. Parents must also understand that despite their best intentions, couples owe primary allegiance to each other rather than their parents. It is best not to ask too many private questions and let the new couple have their privacy so that can build a meaningful relationship together.
Keeping secrets and not to tell anyone what has been told to you by the couple in confidence is another important factor in good in-law relationships. Spilling the beans may only result in losing respect and trust of the couple. It is not necessary that the new couple live according to your standards and values. As your child and her husband or his wife are individual adults, they must be allowed to choose their own style of living, develop their own family traditions and live in any way they want. You may need to re-focus on yourself and your interests rather than paying attention to what your child is doing. Married couples may not be able to devote much time to you but that doesn’t mean that they don’t love their parents anymore. It just means that they are more on their hands than they have time for.
Let the couples learn from their own mistakes and parents who do not respect the couple or turn their noses up at their decisions, may lose their places in the couple’s heart. Even if you don’t approve of them and they fail, never adopt an ‘I-told-you-so’ attitude. Do not make big issues over little things. Your child’s spouse may not want to call you ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’ and may feel more comfortable using your first names. This is their decision and you should accept it gracefully. Your child’s spouse is not your rival of the love your child has for you. Love never divides, it only multiplies. So, make him or her feel welcome in your home, take interests in your in-law and try to build a warm loving relationship with them and perhaps, on his or her terms that are reasonable.