Divided loyalties, inside jokes, new traditions… entering marriage can bring a host of emotions and tensions between a spouse and his or her new family. Fortunately, it is possible to enjoy the process. Listen as Deb DeArmond returns to talk about how to establish healthy in-law relationships.

“I was thrilled. Women were drawn to ask me, ‘How are you making this relationship work? You’re not just friendly – you’re family.’ I think mothers and sons have a connection – when that other woman shows up, I do think there is a bit of competition and jealousy. We tend to measure the other woman by our own standard, which isn’t fair!”

Susie and Deb explore:

• Common stereotypes of difficult mothers-in-law (Marie Barone of Everybody Loves Raymond, for example).

• How mothers can train and raise their children, specifically their sons, to leave.

“I think a lot of parents-in-law stay entwined in their children’s lives in a way that’s not healthy. Once your finances are intermingled, there is a feeling of entitlement from that older couple. It’s just not a good idea. Pray for them; don’t necessarily help them out. We’ve never made a loan we couldn’t afford to just forgive.”

• How a daughter-in-law can “turn the mirror” back toward herself and look at her own heart and posture first.

“Try to be flexible and remember it’s a relationship for life. Discover what your mother-in-law’s love language is and try to speak that.”

• How to respond prayerfully to a distant or hostile in-law.

• The right way for a man to honor his mother while cleaving to his wife.

Deb suggests every mother-in-law exercise wisdom when watching your children start new traditions and walk out their own faith. “Let the Holy Spirit do His job. Be Mom, let them make their own choices.”

Key Scriptures: Matthew 22:39; Ruth

Highlight : The danger of enmeshed in-law relationships

Learning to love your in-laws

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