Amongst my friends and acquaintances, there are quite a few people who I know are happily married but still have one large monkey on their back that they are having difficulty getting rid of. I am of course talking about the in-laws. Despite their best intentions, they never seem to be able to get on their in-laws good side. And admittedly, it is a hard thing to accomplish in most cases, simply because your in-laws see you as the one person that their son or daughter has decided to marry and spend the rest of their life with. It is a big commitment that requires as much scrutiny as any other major life decision.
In-laws often feel like they know best, since they have raised your spouse for years before they have even met you. And they more often than not feel like they have a certain responsibility to determine definitively whether you truly are the right person for their child to marry. Because of this, so often are your own small flaws magnified by in-laws, more so than what any other person would do. If you slouch when you eat, they may think you do not have any discipline. If you work out at the gym too much, they may think that you are too vain. In so many of these cases, even traits that are objectively positive can be spun by your in-laws as being negative. All of this adds up to you constantly trying to impress your in-laws and show them how great of a guy or girl you really are for their child. But this is the wrong approach to take.
In order to truly prove yourself to the in-laws, you need to do something counter-intuitive: don’t try to prove anything to them. When you try to show how great you are to the in-laws, especially in a particular overt and deliberate way, what you are really showing your in-laws is that you care more about proving yourself to them than you do about proving your worth to your spouse. And that is probably the worst thing you could ever do.
Instead, focus on just your spouse and finding ways to make her happy each and every day. Do whatever it takes to show how much you care for them, and how much you love them. In doing this, you will implicitly show your in-laws that you truly are the best for their son or daughter. Because in the end, they do not truly care about the various character traits that you have, and whether there may in fact be someone out in the world who may be an objectively better person than you in various aspects. What they really care about is whether you will show their son or daughter the love and affection that they feel he or she should deserve. If you give your spouse that unconditional love and affection, your in-laws will definitely notice your efforts, and will slowly but surely warm up to you – it’s only a matter of time.