How To Build A Good Relationship With Your In-laws

Editorial Team

Before I got married I had heard so many stories about in-laws that I was very skeptical. When I met my husband’s parents I was so nervous, I hardly said a word throughout, I remember my husband teasing me all through our ride back. Although I got along with my in-laws, there was still always that fear of what of when we get married.

I had a friend who got along very well with her mother-in-law before she got married but after they got married they suddenly became enemies.

Even though I was very close with my in-laws the truth is I was still scared, if you know my husband you would know that he is a mama’s boy. I did not want a situation whereby we would have issues in our marriage because of our parents. I also did not want him to lose the close relationship he had with his parents because of me.

I relayed my fears and she gave me some points to always take note of when relating with my in-laws that she said worked for her:


  • Don't put your spouse in a position where he has to chose between you and his parents. His parents were probably the most important people in his life before you came into his life so it is important that even though their child has married you they don't feel like you have taken their place.
  • Don't make your children have to chose between you and their grandparents. Although you are the mother and you want to be able to set boundaries. You won’t always agree on your choices but come to an agreement with them in the absence of your children. Allow them spoil the child once in awhile because it makes them happy. I am sure even your parents would cross some boundaries so tell them your concerns like you are talking to your parents.
  • Involve them as much as possible. There are certain things that you would want to keep to yourself and you have the right to do that. However also try to keep your in-laws in the loop, ask for their advice also. It would make them feel important and respected.
  • Respect them. This is very important for every Nigerian parent, this doesn’t mean you should let them run your home or walk all over you. Study them and take note of what they feel is disrespectful and try to stay clear and relate to them in a way that they deem respectable.
  • They are not the enemy. It is very easy to begin to view them as the enemy especially with all the stories we hear around. Most people are at odds with their in-laws because they already see them as the enemy even before they meet them. So they become extra sensitive around them. I almost fell into that category but I chose to keep an open mind and give them the benefit of doubt instead.

Some in-laws would still be difficult to deal with purposely even with all your effort but the key is to always apologize, forgive and forget. Try to meet their needs as much as you can and talk to your spouse if you have any concerns in the most calm way possible.  

Try not to be hyper sensitive or get offended easily when dealing with them. These tips have helped me to have a good relationship with my in-laws. I know some people would say it’s because I am lucky but just do your part and hope for the best.