Being a newlywed can be a time of uninterrupted bliss, or it can be a nightmare.

The combining of families can be a very trying time and can hurt a very new relationship between two
newlyweds. It’s easier for men to mix with a bride’s family because he is not analyzing his
relationship with his in-laws as closely as the bride is to hers. Men don’t take certain things
personally, the way women do. If a woman is not close to her in-laws, she is analyzing why she
is not. If a man is not close to his in-laws, there’s a big chance that he is not as disturbed by it.
Whether you love or hate your in-laws, your relationship with them, negative or positive, can
have a lasting effect on your marriage. In more severe circumstances, it could even tear your
marriage apart.

According to CNN, when a man reported having a close relationship with his wife’s parents, the
couple’s risk of divorce decreased by 20%. Yet women who said they had a close relationship
with their husbands’ parents saw their risk of divorce rise by 20%. This is simply because
studies have shown that when a man is close to his in-laws, it reinforces his relationship with his
wife by showing her that she is important to him. But when a woman is close to her husband’s
family, it can prevent her from growing a strong bond with him in those crucial, early years of

Here are some ways to be close with your in-laws without having them interfere in your new marriage.

  • Show an interest in them as people, and not just your in-laws. Don’t wait till the holidays to
    spend time with your in-laws, because that’s a time of year when everyone may be feeling more
  • Spend time with them socially and frequently, and get to know them as people. This is
    very important if you’re a man because showing your wife that you care for her parents shows
    her that you care for her, too.
  • Set Boundaries. As a couple, let your in-laws know that you want a strong relationship with
    them, but that you also need to set some boundaries. You don’t have to share everything with
    them. This is especially true for families with kids.
  • Don’t let in-laws use their desire to see your children as a way to invade your space, and don’t allow them to place judgment on your
    parenting skills.
  • Keep it Kind, and Friendly. Don’t insult or talk about your in-laws, even behind their backs. If
    you have an issue with them, speak reasonably about it to your partner. Even if your spouse is
    complaining about his or her parents, don’t offer any opinion. No one likes having their parents
  • Put your relationship first. Stand united against outside threats, even if that means your
    in-laws. There are a lot of behaviors that exhibit married couples letting their spouse take the
    heat against their families, and showing no support. If this kind of behavior persists, it can hurt a
    marriage, maybe permanently. Make it clear that you expect your spouse to defend you.

Remember, you married your spouse, not his or her family. But you can make things easier in
your marriage and your life, by showing an interest, showing love, and setting clear boundaries.