Dave & Ashley Willis joined us on Rise and Shine again this week to discuss how to effectively negotiate with your in-laws in a marriage.
It’s an issue that most couples will have to deal with at some stage in their relationship, so how do you decide whose family to do what with?
Ashley says that when she and Dave first got married, it was one of the single biggest issues they had. “There’s no doubt it’s going to cause friction. My advice is to try and be as fair as possible. But the fact is, most families don’t like change.”
Dave continues, “You have to remember when you get married that you are creating a new family. Yes, you should continue to honour your parents, but honour doesn’t mean obey. If you have to go against their wishes, do it with respect. Because you have a new priority system now, and your spouse has to come first.”
Dave also believes that disappointment is inevitable in some situations. There is just no way you can please everybody.
“Talk to you parents”, says Ashley. “Present a united front but do it in a loving way. You want to honour both families. Pray that God will move in their hearts and give you the right words. But your spouse has to be your first priority over extended family. You need to set boundaries from the start”.
“Communication is key”, adds Dave. “Use these conversations as an opportunity for growth. And if you find yourself in a situation where one of your children is about to get married, decide now not to add drama or stress to their relationship”.
“As parents you have the choice to be a great blessing to your children or cause them huge amounts of stress.”
Dave and Ashley believe the key to success is to swallow your pride and be flexible.
“Keep talking, and try to rotate key events, especially things like Christmas”, Ashley says.
Everyone will have to accept some disappointment and be adaptable to change. But compromise is possible with God’s help!
Listen to the full podcast below.