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How To Get Along With In-Laws: Good Things Utah

How To Get Along With In-Laws: Good Things Utah

Marriage is a wonderful change, but it certainly brings some challenges, not just for the couple involved, but also for the in-law relationship dynamic. I recently sat down with the Good Things Utah to share my top 3 tips for daughter-in-laws and mother-in-laws:

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5 Ways To Be an Amazing Mother-In-Law: Dr. Julie Hanks on KSL’s Studio 5

When an adult child gets married, it can be difficult for his/her parents to navigate their new role as an in-laws. I am learning this myself, as my oldest son got married in the not too distant past. Unfortunately, our culture has created a negative stereotype of in-laws (particularly mother-in-laws), but your own experience can be a positive one! Here are 5 ways to be an amazing mother-in-law:

5 Ways to Be an Amazing Mother-In-Law

1) Expect and Embrace Differences A family unit can thought of as a sort of “organism;” it has its own traditions, belief system, and even its own quirks. When a new person enters this family (through marriage), there are bound to be differences. Recognize that there is no such thing as a completely seamless transition, and expect your new son-in-law or daughter-in-law to do some things in a new way. You can learn to celebrate these differences as well! It can also be helpful to talk about family expectations in order to navigate this change.

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20 Ways to Deal with a Difficult Mother-in-Law

A lot of us may have “difficult” mothers-in-law. Here are 20 ways to help you make things a little less difficult.

1. Understand the Problem

Is there a specific reason that she is being difficult? Most people have a reason and aren’t just difficult to be difficult. Your mother-in-law might be feeling less important. You just took her baby boy! You’re now the number one woman in his life, not her and she may not be quite used to that. It’s difficult for mothers to stand back sometimes and learn to be second.

2. Take a Different Perspective

Honestly think about what it is she might be feeling right now. Perspective is how we view the world, so what happens when you try to take someone else’s perspective? Put yourself in her shoes. Your understanding might become different.

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Ask A Therapist: Mother-in-law Passed Away and Left Us $50,000 In Debt

Q: To start off I was best friends with my wife’s mother. She took me in and gave me a family. Within the last 2 years both my wife’s mother and grand father passed away. My wife and I lived with them before we got married.

We ended up getting married twice, once in a church and once in my mother in law’s room at the nursing home. She was 46 years old when she died and it happened this past march.

Since then I have found that we have tons of money to pay out in inheritance tax and to her medical bills if we want to keep our house. My wife has stopped doing anything around the house and she won’t go do any of the legal things that need to be done by her.

How can I get her more motivated without hurting her feelings and how can I keep my sanity though out all of this. I don’t really know what to do to get myself motivated to be happier.

A: I am so sorry to hear about your recent family losses and financial difficulties. You’ve both lost two important support people, and while they can’t be replaced, it important for you and your wife to get additional support during this difficult time. While grieving is different for every person, it seems that your wife’s grieving may have turned into depression. Her “lack of motivation” and difficulty functioning may not be something she can control at this point.  Your difficulty being happy is also concerning to me and I recommend that both of you get an assessment for depression by a mental health professional. I also want to encourage you to seek out a grief counselor to help you process your losses, and a grief group so you can talk with other families who are going through similar experiences. To find a therapist and a group in your area click here.

In addition to mental health support, please seek professional advice on your legal and financial matters surrounding your mother-in-law’s passing, if you haven’t already done so. Tax issues and liability for medical bills can be complex and very stressful.

Thank you again for writing.

Take good care of yourself!

Julie Hanks, LCSW

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What Your Mother In Law Is REALLY Trying To Tell You: Studio 5

Mothers in law and daughters in law don’t always speak the same language. But, there are ways to prevent miscommunication and avoid misunderstandings. Therapist, Julie Hanks, explains what those mixed messages really mean.

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