You’ll find that many people, after they get married, want to move back in with their families and take care of their aging parents.
Especially in Arab culture, family is placed so high and it is assumed that the children will be there to take care of their parents until old age.
While that may be noble and morally the right thing to do, it can take a toll on you if you decide to move in with your in-laws.
They can be the nicest, sweetest people on earth, but it can still be daunting, and at times, frustrating, to take care of them.
And what happens when they turn out to not be the people or the family you expected? Mother in-laws especially are infamous for their constant nagging, put-downs and belittlement of their daughter-in-laws.
Here are some ways to not let it get to you and to keep your marriage intact at the same time:
1) Realize that this is your new family, whether you like it or not: In Arab culture, you don’t just marry a person, you marry their whole family.
Keep this in mind the next time one of your in-laws says something rude or makes you feel bad.
Treat them the same way you’d treat your own parents. Stand up for yourself, but at the same time, be kind and respectful. Realize that this is probably new for them as well and try to make the best of what you have.
This is going to be your family for as long as you’re married, and to be constantly at odds won’t make anything easier for you.
2) Listen to what they’re saying: Is your mother-in-law complaining about your cooking, or does your father-in-law not respect your line of work?
Listen to what they’re really saying and see if you can at least make an effort to alleviate the problem. If they have a certain way of doing something, offer to have them teach you, and then you can put your own spin on it.
Most parents just want the best for their children, and once they see you’re listening and trying, they will oftentimes warm up to you.
3) Always talk to your spouse: You are a team, and although the in-laws are their family, they need to realize that working on your relationship is essential too.
If your husband or wife never stands up for you or always takes their family’s side, there will be numerous problems for years.
Make sure you can talk to each other and rely on them to be open, honest and supportive.
4) Bring out the olive branch: After a disagreement or fight with you in-laws, try to be the one who comes to offer a peaceful resolution.
After all, they are much older than you, and it’s a sign of respect to acknowledge the argument and decide to move on.
You’ll be the bigger person, and instead of letting the anger ferment and get out of hand, you’ll nip it in the bud and move on with your lives.
5) Talk to them about their interests: Get involved in the things they enjoy and talk to them about their pasts. Ask them about what they did when they were first married, or the things they used to do when they were children.
Just making an effort to get to know your new family goes such a long way and will not only help bring you closer together, but understand their points of view as well.
You might even gain some insight into their opinions and learn something that you may not have expected.