Adjusting with your in-laws

And you thought the wedding was stressful!

Getting along with your in-laws can sometimes be challenging. Although they may want to have as much influence on your daily lives as your parents once did, you are not likely to have the same type of relationship. Taking the time to get along with your spouse's parents is not always easy, but is rewarding. Here are some tips:

· Put yourself in their…chapals. Sometimes it helps to look at things from their perspective. Are they coping with a lot of stress from planning the wedding? Are they worried about finances or taking care of their guests? Do they have any concerns about you as a couple?

Whether or not you their fears are well founded, understanding their perspective can help you improve the way you relate to your in-laws. Take the time to figure out what they're thinking, and you'll be better able to convince them otherwise!

· Start Fresh
Weddings bring out the best and worst in the people involved, and you, your spouse and your respective families may all be at your worst. Little things that normally would not bother you can become larger issues. Each of you is influenced by a host of well-meaning, friends, relatives and other on-lookers. When the wedding is over, start fresh. Try to forgive and forget and start over.

· Figure out your boundaries
It is important to be as flexible as possible. However, some things may not be negotiable. If you have some specific concerns or limitations, talk to your spouse and figure out a way to communicate these to your parents. It's best to establish these as early as possible in your marriage.

· Don't compare
Try not to compare your in-laws with your parents. There is no comparison. Each set of parents has their own set of qualities. Establish a new relationship with your in-laws and be open to new ways of doing things.

· Know who does the talking
Let your fiancée be the one to discuss difficult and controversial issues with his parents. He or she has more experience in dealing with them, and they are less likely to resent him.

· Be inclusive
Your in-laws want to be a part of your life. Although you may be closer to your own parents, take the time to get to know your in-laws and teach them more about yourself. Include them in important decisions and milestones in your life. Ask them for their opinion. Be open to what you hear.

· Help out
This is an easy one. Always offer to help your in-laws, whether its doing the dishes, or picking up a gift for a wedding you are going to. Encourage your spouse to be as helpful to your own parents.

· Find a balance
Be good to yourself, and maintain a good relationship with your friends, your spouse and your own family. You may exaggerate issues with your in-laws because you are unhappy about something else. On the other hand, you may neglect other important people because you are trying to be the "perfect" son or daughter-in-law.

· Know your secrets
If you and your fiancée have a disagreement, work it out without involving either set of parents. Agree to keep certain things personal. Its that simple.

Finally, if your fiancée's parents are less than gracious before the wedding, try not to take it personally. Remember that your fiancée chose you, but he or she didn't choose his or her parents. It is not essential for you and your in-laws to be best friends, but mutual respect and politeness can go a long way. After the wedding, when you have both had time to adjust, you may even discover that they are not as bad as you feared. Good luck!