MomTalk.com January 19, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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Dealing with the In-Laws


By Christine McLaughlin

Does a weekend at the dentist office sound more appealing than a weekend with your in-laws? Does your husband's mom win the Smother-in-Law of the Year award year after year? If so, you're not alone. Weekends and holidays spent with in-laws are notoriously packed with stress and can be anything but joyous for most people. But does that mean you should try to out-law your in-laws? Not at all, say the experts. In fact, your inner frustrations can be used to your advantage and maybe even improve your relationship. Here's how:

Accept the fact that they frustrate you. The first step in approaching a weekend with the family is to recognize their shortcomings. "By virtue of this acceptance, one's angst begins to dissipate and therefore one is more likely to handle the situation in a manner that does not produce more frustration," explains Donna Tonrey, PhD, a marriage and family therapist who directs a clinical counseling program at La Salle University in Philadelphia.

Enter with a positive mindset. Don't look for the negative or judge your in-laws for doing things differently. "Allow them to be different. Loosen up and focus on having a good time," says April Masini, who writes 'AskApril.com,' a relationship online magazine, and the critically acclaimed 'Ask April' advice column. "Fun is often contagious."
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