10 Commandments for a Happy Marriage

To start your happily ever after, apply these golden rules and try to stick to them for as long as you both shall live.
By: 
Sharon Naylor

Seventh Commandment: Thou Shalt Be An Extended Family

extended family
Photo Credit: Holli B. Photography

Reality check: When you married him, you married his family, and he married yours as well. If you're lucky to join a happy, well-adjusted family, this is an easy commandment to keep. On the other hand, if you're sharing holidays with new relatives who are critical, judgmental, or unwelcoming of you, this is going to be a major challenge. Even if every fiber of your being wants to scream at them and never visit during Thanksgiving again—your groom minimizes how nasty his sisters act towards you or ignores that his mom calls you "Her" as if you're not even in the room—you need to find a way to forgive, co-exist and work on building at least a cordial relationship with the more challenging members of his family.

Resist the temptation to tell him he's on his own or complain for weeks about catty insults they made, because even if his mom is a colossal jerk, your husband is never going to choose sides (not fully). And you wouldn't want to help her get rid of you by buying into the conflicts she tries to start. When you let them just float away, the in-laws become less of a factor in your marriage. Try to find common ground, compliment them when you can, and hopefully, your marriage will include happier times with the extended family, someday. Consider your baby steps towards that cordial relationship as a small price to pay to have a husband this wonderful.

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