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In-laws & Family

Planning Your Wedding Part 3: Constructively Resolving Conflict

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 2 Comments

It’s common for family members to clash with the engaged couple (or one another) during a busy season of wedding planning. Weddings seem to provide endless opportunities for families to squabble about traditions, decor, music, and other minutiae down to the smallest details. Unfortunately, family members do this to the detriment of peace, and the bride and groom’s happiness. Last week in part 2, we talked about the importance of boundaries–and how having strong boundaries can make your wedding planning process more enjoyable. But even with the healthiest of boundaries in place, conflict can still arise. It’s incredibly uncomfortable and…

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Planning Your Wedding Part 2: Establishing Healthy Boundaries with Family

By | Communication, In-laws & Family | 2 Comments

Boundaries are critically important in marriage. They protect you as a couple from negative outside influences, helping you to strengthen and maintain a healthy relationship from within. If you don’t have boundaries yet, you need to have a discussion with your fiance about what those boundaries need to entail. The wedding planning season isn’t the easiest time to enact boundaries, but if you don’t already have them as a couple, it’s a good time to establish them. That’s because planning your wedding is one of your first big opportunities to exercise boundaries. While the two of you attempt to plan…

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Planning Your Wedding Part 1: Working Together to Plan Your Big Day

By | Communication, In-laws & Family, Time | No Comments

Wedding planning is one of the busiest seasons in your life. (We remember; it was a busy time for us, too!) While it tends to be stressful and time-consuming, there are ways to enjoy yourselves and alleviate some of the pressure that can come along with planning for one of the most important days of your life. Planning your wedding together can make this season fun and memorable. Even better, it gives you a chance to infuse the essence of who you are as a couple into every part of your celebration. Here are a few ways you can plan…

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Tips for Navigating Difficult In-Law Relationships – Part 2

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 10 Comments

Most married couples are uncomfortably familiar with some level of stress when it comes to their in-laws. Maybe you’re dealing with invasion of your privacy, criticism, or jealousy, to name a few issues. The bottom line is, you married one another’s families when you married each other–now, you need to be able to work together to navigate the difficult situations that may arise from time to time. This week, we’re completing our two-part series on challenging in-law relationships. (If you missed part 1, you can catch up here.) Read on to learn a few more ways you and your spouse…

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Tips for Navigating Difficult In-Law Relationships – Part 1

By | Conflict, In-laws & Family | 24 Comments

It’s very common for married couples to experience conflict with their in-laws on one or both sides of the family. Sometimes this can be a minor annoyance; other times, it’s a major source of stress. Whatever your situation, it’s challenging to navigate these complex–and sometimes difficult–relationships. In-law conflict is almost inevitable for every marriage. The good news is, it’s possible to navigate it successfully while continuing to enjoy relationships with both of your families. Let’s dive into some of the things you and your spouse can do to ease the tension between your marriage and your extended families. Present a…

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My Spouse Won’t Come to Church. Help!

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 19 Comments

It’s incredibly painful when your spouse isn’t interested in engaging with you spiritually. This could be a difference you’ve had since early in your relationship, or it could be a new development. Whatever the case, experiencing a spiritual mismatch in your marriage is challenging. There are a number of scenarios that can create a spiritual divide between spouses: You started your marriage with similar beliefs, but your spouse has since decided to leave church The two of you disagree on the finer points of doctrine or theology, and haven’t been able to find a church to attend together…so you attend…

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How to Handle In-Law Conflict During the Holidays (Part 2)

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 5 Comments

Dealing with in-law conflict is hard any time of year…but it’s so much harder during the holidays. Today, we’re continuing the conversation about how to handle issues with your spouse’s parents (or yours) this holiday season. Check out part 1 here. If your spouse rejects your family Maybe, for whatever reason, your spouse dislikes your family. And when they join you at gatherings on your side of the family, they act snarky, sarcastic, rude, or completely uninterested in being there. When you’re trying to manage your spouse’s behavior, that can take all the enjoyment out of your family’s holiday celebrations….

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How to Handle In-Law Conflict During the Holidays

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 2 Comments

If you’re engaged or newly married, you might be wondering why holiday in-law conflict is such a big deal…and you might even be thinking of ways to try to avoid is completely. Unfortunately, no matter who your parents are, how much they love you, or how much they support you as a couple, your families are different. Those differences are going to create some inevitable conflict once you’re married…especially when it comes to holiday gatherings. Every family functions by its own unspoken rules; we like to say each family has its own “code,” whether they realize it or not. They…

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Dicey Dealings: How to Handle Invasive In-Laws

By | Communication, Conflict, In-laws & Family | 21 Comments

One of the most difficult situations married couples face is dealing with invasive or controlling in-laws. Maybe they’re critical, nosy, or they monopolize your (or your spouse’s) time. Perhaps they don’t think you can take care of their “baby” as well as they did. Whatever the case, these situations can get dicey in a hurry. In today’s blog post, we’re going to focus on how to deal with invasive in-laws who are making your life as a couple harder than it should be. Have a Heart-to-Heart…With Your Spouse Is your mother-in-law rifling through your things when you’re not home? Has…

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How to Build a Great Relationship with Stepchildren

By | Communication, In-laws & Family | 11 Comments

Whether you’re getting married for the first time to a person who has children–or getting remarried and blending a family–you’re going to be navigating some unfamiliar territory in the coming years. Like starting a marriage, becoming a stepparent has its own set of challenges and rewards, and you’ll learn how to nurture these relationships as you begin your new life as a family. Stepping into the role of stepmom or stepdad is a daunting and delicate undertaking. Making this transition well isn’t easy, but it’s very doable. The result of treading carefully into this new territory will be building a…

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