Does your mother-in law constantly put you down, making you feel like an inferior species? Is your father in-law telling you how to run your finances or making you feel not good enough to be married to their child? This is a common scenario and one that is often difficult to deal with and it could be hurting your marriage. Unfortunately when we marry someone, we get their family, the good and the bad. Some in-laws can be wonderful, supportive people; some are just downright rude and interfering. Regrettably we usually can’t turn bad in-laws into better family members. We just have to learn how to deal with them in a positive manner. If you think your in-laws are hurting your marriage then you need to take steps to solve this problem. If you don’t, it won’t go away; it will just get bigger and more uncomfortable. Try these tips to solve problems with in-laws:
- If your in-laws are making you feel insecure with their comments, tell your partner. Your partner may be unaware of the problem, especially if your in-laws put you down when your partner isn’t around. Try and resolve the issue immediately, but remember not to stress about every comment they make. Some insensitive remarks made were not said to hurt, they were just thoughtless. We all make mistakes.
- Don’t be rude to your in-laws when telling them how they make you feel. Explain the situation in a calm manner and why their remarks or behavior are hurtful or intrusive. Perhaps ask them why they said certain things. They may not have realized you would take offense.
- Always be respectful and treat them kindly. Usually treating people with respect will get reciprocal behavior. If they don’t respond to this pleasantness, don’t let them walk all over you. You may have to walk away from some situations. The other solution is to confront them, but this isn’t always easy or comfortable.
- Sometimes interacting with them in a pleasant but emotionally distant manner can be successful. It’s a bit like serving a customer in a shop. Be polite and smile, but don’t let them in to your emotional space. This isn’t ideal but if all else fails this method will help get you through difficult family get-togethers.
- Ask your partner what they expect in terms of holidays and the in-laws access to your children. Be equitable with time spent between families. You always insisting on spending Christmas with your family will damage any relationship, no matter how good. If you don’t get along with your in-laws try not to let your children feel the resentment. Knowing that you are uncomfortable around them will taint the relationship with their grandparents. Even if you do have issues, your in-laws may still be loving, generous grandparents who your children enjoy spending time with.
Letting your in-laws hurt your marriage is really up to you and your partner. Finding an agreeable way to deal with them is the tricky part. If you can successfully negotiate this then annoying in-laws will have less of a chance of damaging your relationship.