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5 tips for getting along with your spouse’s siblings
Marriage is usually a package deal… I mean, yes, your greatest priority is your commitment and love for your spouse. But sometimes a spouse comes with extras… like their family. At times, those relationships bring added joyand challenges, especially when it comes to your spouse’s siblings.
So how do you foster a good relationship and get along with your spouse’s siblings?
Of course, a lot depends on the context. How well does your spouse get along with their siblings? What’s their stage of life and personality? How does your spouse’s family function overall? These factors often affect what getting along with your spouse’s siblings looks like.
But if you keep the following tips in mind, you’re more likely to have good sibling-in-law relationships.
1. Have Realistic Expectations
2. Look for Opportunities to Support
3. Invite Them to Be a Part of Your World With Your Spouse
4. Avoid Turning Down Invitations to Be in Their World
5. Keep Your Marriage First
Fostering good relationships with your in-laws is a win for your marriage.
keys to effective communication in marriage
What are the keys to effective communication? Well, research on what makes marriage work shows that happy and healthy couples have a ratio of 5:1 positive to negative behaviors in their relationship.
This means there are five times as many positive interactions between happy couples (i.e. listening, validating the other person, using soft words, expressing appreciation, affirmation, physical affection, compliments, etc.) as there are negative (i.e. raising one’s voice, stating a complaint, or expressing one’s anger).
Tips for improving the effectiveness of communication in your relationship:
☑️ Be intentional about spending time together.
On average, couples spend only 20 minutes a week talking with each other. To change this, turn off the technology and make it a point to spend 20-30 minutes a day catching up with each other.
☑️ Use more “I” statements and less “You” statements.
This decreases the chances of your spouse feeling like they need to defend themselves.
☑️ Be specific.
When issues arise, be specific. Broad generalizations like, “You do it all the time!” are not helpful.
☑️ Avoid mind-reading.
It is very frustrating when someone else acts like they know better than you what you were really thinking.
☑️ Express negative feelings constructively.
There will be times when you feel bitterness, resentment, disappointment or disapproval. These feelings need to be communicated in order for change to occur. But how you express these thoughts is critical.
☑️ Listen without being defensive.
For a marriage to succeed, both spouses must be able to hear each other’s complaints without getting defensive.
☑️ Freely express positive feelings.
Most people are quicker to express negative feelings than positive ones. It is vital to the health of your marriage that you affirm your spouse. Positive feelings such as appreciation, affection, respect, admiration, and approval are like making deposits into your love account.