Some people like their in-laws. Some of us win the lottery, and get on with our significant other’s family just as well (if not better) than we get along with our own. For everyone else, though, getting along with the in-laws can be tough. In some cases it can be downright Herculean. If you’re not one of the blessed few who have common ground with your in-laws, then you should keep this list of tips in mind. Especially around the holidays.
5 Tips For Dealing With The In-Laws
Tip #1: Set Boundaries
This can be awkward, but sometimes the best thing to do is to sit down with your in-laws, and talk about your boundaries for you, your significant other, and any children you have. Be reasonable, and keep things light, but make sure you communicate clearly what you expect, and what you need from your in-laws. This might lead to some head-butting, especially if you have grandparents who want to spoil your little ones, but it’s also the best way to get results. Remember, you’re all adults here, and you should be able to solve things just by talking them out among yourselves.
Tip #2: Take Time For Yourself
If you get along well with your in-laws, then being with them might feel refreshing. Just like spending time with good friends. However, if you have to stay on your guard all the time, that can quickly sap your strength. Remember to take a break, and to catch your breath. When you feel your reserves getting low, it might be time to take a nap, go run some errands, or get lunch with some friends. Whatever you do, make sure it will relax you. The key to making sure you can deal with your in-laws is to never let the pressure get higher than you can take. That’s how fights start.
Tip #3: Prepare
An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure, or so the old saying goes. When it comes to dealing with your in-laws, this is astonishingly true.
You know them. You know what causes arguments, and you know what smooths things over. So, before you spend any time with them, do some preparation. Maybe that means planning a family meal so you can all spend the evening together to start off the get-together on a high note. Maybe it means taking a day or so for yourself so you’ll be ready to handle the pressure of spending time with this part of your family. Think of it like stretching before a workout; you’re less likely to hurt yourself if you go in prepared for what’s coming.
Tip #4: Make Sure You And Your Spouse Are On The Same Page
Coping with your in-laws can be hard. Coping with them alone can be an impossible task. So make sure you sit down with your significant other, and talk about what you need from them. Don’t make it about you versus your in-laws, because that can lead to hurt feelings all around. Instead, make sure your spouse knows what you need from them, and that you both agree on how to handle certain situations. You need to be a collaborative unit, instead of working separately.
Tip #5: Don’t Take Them Personally
Your in-laws are just people. Sometimes their comments, habits, or way of being might be abrasive, or exhausting, but you need to ask when it’s being directed at you, personally, and when it’s just how they are. Because a lot of the time, it may have nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. And if it’s their problem, you shouldn’t stress yourself by making it your problem.
Communication and Relationships: Communication Is The Key To A Healthy Sex Life
You know that feeling on Christmas morning, when you’re sitting down near the tree, and you’re excited because you’re pretty sure your special someone got you just what you wanted? But then, as the day goes on, you realize that they didn’t. Instead, they got you something that was very thoughtful, and a little insightful, but it wasn’t really what you had your heart set on.
That feeling? That mix of bittersweet and disappointment that you feel sort of bad for having, but still can’t shake off? There’s no reason you should feel like that in your sex life. If you find that sensation creeping in, there’s a sure-fire way to do away with it. It isn’t a huge secret, but it can take time to get used to it.
Tell Them What You Want… It’s As Simple As That
The reason you don’t get the gift you want, more often than not, is a lack of communication. Maybe you think you were being clear, but if you’re dropping hints hoping your significant other will follow the trail of breadcrumbs, there’s no guarantee they’ll reach the conclusion you wanted them to. If you want them to get to the right place, you need to post clear signs, and draw them a map.
Nowhere is this more true than when it comes to your sex life.
The problem is that a lot of us are embarrassed to talk about sex, or about what we want from sex. We think that if it isn’t spontaneous, and that if it isn’t born out of in-the-moment passion that it’s somehow not as genuine, or that it shouldn’t be as good. That thing where two people intimately know each other’s wants, though? That happens in one of two ways. The first is that you’re the protagonist in a romance novel, and the writer wants to make your love life seem perfect and magical. The second is that you and your partner have been together for a long time, and you’ve explored each other’s needs, grown together, and discovered all those red buttons and secret wants.
There is no shortcut to a great sex life, but you can speed up the process by not playing coy when it comes time to retire to the bedroom (or the living room, or the kitchen, or wherever your preferred place happens to be). You just need to take a deep breath, sit down with your partner, and be open with them about what you need from them.
You Might Find Buried Treasure, If You Start Digging
Open, honest communication is scary. Even if you love your partner, and you trust them, you are leaving a very private part of yourself exposed. But if you can’t be truly naked when it comes to your sex life, then when would there be a more appropriate time?
You’ll find something else happens when you’re direct, open, and honest with your partner, too. You end up learning that what you want might not really be all that hard to provide. Whether it’s how you like to be touched, what your fantasies are, or what things you’d really prefer your partner stop doing, you’re going to find those barriers that felt insurmountable are really just smoke and mirrors.
Because trying to figure out your partner’s sexual wants is a lot like being a safe cracker. If you’ve got a good ear, the right tools, and a lot of experience, you can tell when the tumblers have dropped, and you’ve gotten inside. But since you want your partner to get in, not giving them the combination in the first place isn’t really helping anyone.
When you’re getting divorced, the emotional aspect of it is probably on your mind more than the financial. You’re just trying to get used to the idea of being single again. So you may not pay too much attention to the way in which the finances are arranged. However, if you don’t pay attention to this aspect now, you’re sure to regret it later.
Expenses Increase After a Divorce
Let’s face it: two people living alone are going to spend more money than two people living together. When you only have one rent/mortgage to pay and when you’re buying groceries in bulk, you’re going to save money. So it’s important to make sure that you’re not putting yourself at a disadvantage, financially speaking.
Alimony and Child Support
Most women have to decide whether to apply for alimony and child support. Don’t let your pride prevent you from doing this because you’ll regret it later. You may already have a job but if your spouse was the main breadwinner, your job may not pay you as well as you need to support yourself and your kids. You’re not out to fleece your ex, only to get what’s needed for you and your kids to maintain a decent standard of living.
Splitting the Assets
Make sure that you know the value of any assets the two of you might own, like a house or a vacation home. You might end up selling these assets and splitting the proceeds. Or one of you might take one while the other will take the other. But if you opt not to sell, then don’t settle for the asset with a lower market value. Make sure you get your half of the assets, whether you choose to liquidate them or not.
Working It Out Amicably
The best thing to do is to work things out amicably with your ex-spouse, with both lawyers present, or a mediator, if that’s what you’ve opted to do. You don’t want things to get to the point where you’re fighting it out in court.