As my amazing wife Ashley and I have interacted with couples from all over the world, we’ve seen that one of the most common struggles in a marriage comes in finding healthy relationships with in-laws.
In some of these situations, the family dynamics are complicated by the fact that one spouse’s parents dislike, distrust or disrespect their daughter/son-in-law. These family tensions can create awkwardness, drama and huge frustrations in your marriage.
If YOUR parents hate your spouse below are 4 action steps that you need to take to try and bring some healing to the situation and to protect your marriage.
1. Remember that your first LOYALTY has to be to your spouse.
Nobody wants to have to be put in a situation where you have to decide between backing your parents or backing you spouse BUT if you are ever in that position, you have to put your first loyalty with your spouse. This isn’t just my opinion. This is how God established marriage. The marriage relationship can only work when it is the MOST important family relationship. Make sure your parents, your spouse and everyone else knows that you love them all, but your first loyalty is to your marriage.
“And Jesus said, “‘This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.’ Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together. ” (Matthew 19:5-6)
2. Do all you can to be a PEACEMAKER.
Whenever you are put in the uncomfortable position of having to mediate tensions between your parents and your spouse, work to promote peace. Don’t stir up drama. Try to understand the concerns of everyone involved and whenever possible, help build bridges instead of tearing bridges down . Don’t just live with “artificial harmony” and silent awkwardness at every family function if you can help it. Work to create real and lasting peace.
“God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. ” (Matthew 5:9)
3. Protect your CHILDREN from getting involved.
These complicated adult dynamics never need to be forced onto kids. If you’re going to have disagreements about these kinds of issues, don’t do it in front of your children. Strive to give your kids a great relationship with their grandparents and their parents without being put in the middle of family conflicts.
For more on this, download this FREE chapter from my new book, “The 7 Laws of Love” by clicking here.
4. Keep growing closer together in your MARRIAGE.
Every marriage is going to have struggles to overcome. With this struggle and all struggles, you’ll get through it if you face it together! For all of our tools to help you grow closer to your spouse daily, Download our brand new “MarriageApp” for iPhones and iPads.
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Don't give up on your marriage. It is worth the effort and investment. If you feel like your marriage is struggling, or even failing, there is hope. There is healing.