Holidays With the In-Laws: Cultivating a Joyful, Peaceful Season With Extended Family

Have you experienced conflict with your in-laws, particularly during the holidays? If so, you’re not alone. Many couples navigate challenging in-law relationships throughout the year. Oftentimes, challenges peak during the holiday season because there are so many activities, events, and family obligations to fulfill.

If you’re looking for some additional guidance on constructively, successfully, and lovingly handling tough or uncomfortable situations with your in-laws this holiday season, we can help. Today, we’ve rounded up some posts from our archive that are packed with tips you can put to work to ease the tension.

A note before we begin…

Family tension comes in all shapes and sizes, and these articles in no way represent the full breadth and depth of the many, many conflicts that individual families and married couples experience, during the holidays or otherwise. The articles (and the points contained therein) are meant to provide useful takeaways that help you handle conflict more constructively. They are not a substitute for therapy with a licensed family counselor.

May you always speak the truth in love and honor one another to the best of your abilities.

Now, let’s get to it.

1. How To Handle In-Law Conflict During The Holidays

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Naturally, the first two blog posts on our list are directly related to handling in-law conflict during the holiday season. This can take many forms. Perhaps your families don’t get along. You may feel that one set of in-laws is more demanding or invasive than the other. Or, you may run into the same arguments about visits, meals, and commitments every year.

Holiday tension peaks when family members pull you in different directions, traditions clash, and unwritten rules suddenly surge to the surface. Whatever the case, this two-part guide will give you some tools to help you and your spouse as we head into this year’s celebrations.

2. What To Do When Your Spouse’s Family Doesn’t Bond

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Did you grow up with a close-knit extended family? It’s never more apparent than during the holidays, when we come together to share traditions and celebrate the season. But what if your spouse’s family lacks that close bond you’re used to? This article will help you gain a better understanding of your in-laws’ dynamics as we head into the holidays. It will also help you to grasp why your spouse may struggle to feel comfortable among your closely bonded family members.

3. Tips For Navigating Difficult In-Law Relationships

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When it comes to challenging in-law relationships, there are many ways that issues can manifest. Sometimes, you may simply experience disagreements or minor annoyances–which are quite normal. Other times, family dynamics are chronically difficult and rife with conflict. In this two-part feature, we offer up some advice for facing family dynamics driven by jealousy, criticism, invasiveness, and more.

4. How To Protect Yourself And Your Relationships With Family Boundaries

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Choosing to set healthy boundaries is one of the best things you can do for the health of your marriage and your relationships, especially with extended family. It’s possible to honor and love your family of origin while also creating a healthy situation where your relationships can thrive. During the holidays, having well-established boundaries in place can make your season run smoother and help you cultivate peace. This article gives you a starting point and some tips to point you in the direction of building those boundaries for your family.

How do you and your spouse celebrate with extended family and in-laws during the holidays? Share your stories and tips for healthy interactions below.

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