You have to consider your in-laws too when you are getting married!
When you decide to marry your significant other, you’re not only marrying him/her but also their family, and by that we mean the in-laws. If it wasn’t challenging enough to adjust to the new married life, you also need to maintain a good relationship with them, which is not always easy.
But what can you do when you find yourself in difficult situations with one or both of your in-laws? One thing is sure, handling those problems can be challenging, but you shouldn’t give up. After all, family is very important and you can always find a way to make things work.
Read on to discover the most common problems you might have with your in-laws and find out how to handle things in a healthy and positive manner!
1. Your in-laws are too involved in your life!
As we all know by now, marriages aren’t all sunshine and rainbows. Once in a while, there will likely be occasional arguments between spouses, and it’s normal to be like that. But what happens when every time you have an argument with your spouse, your in-laws are being nosy and want to be involved?
They want to know everything and they always have an opinion, they want to be part of the decision-making and expect to be consulted every time. While it’s ok to have supportive in-laws, if they’re intruding in your personal space you might have a problem. But what should you do in this situation?
Firstly, it might be a good idea to not share everything with them and keep any personal issues to yourself. This way, they won’t have how to meddle anymore. Don’t talk about your problems in front of them and make sure they’re not assisting your couple fights.
Very importantly, don’t complain to them about your spouse’s annoying habits and rather try to handle them by yourself. If they’re still offering advice without you asking, tell them you’ll consider it just to avoid any kind of unnecessary arguments. And when it comes to the big decisions, they can have an opinion, but it’s up to you and your spouse to decide.
2. Your mother-in-law is too controlling.
Building a healthy relationship with your in-laws is not always easy, especially when your mother-in-law is too controlling. But what happens when your mother-in-law wants to be in charge, even though it’s your marriage?
A way too controlling mother-in-law will try to tell you what to do and not do, where to live, when it’s the time to have kids and how to raise them, and she will also get upset if you’re not doing as she pleases. If you’re finding yourself in the same situation with your mother-in-law, finding a way to make peace with them will likely be very challenging.
It would be easier if you and your spouse are on the same page and try to find a proper way together on how to handle the situation. However, if your spouse is finding their mother’s behavior acceptable and they’re following her command all the time, you need to solve this problem on your own and do it fast, otherwise, it can compromise your marriage.
According to relationship experts, the most important thing you can do when dealing with a very controlling mother-in-law is to try to find the roots of the problem. Try to find the answers to the following questions:
- Is she acting that way because she’s afraid of losing her power over her son’s/daughter’s life?
- But why is your spouse accepting her behavior? Why they’re allowing her to be such controlling?
- Can a person who’s been like this their whole life change?
After figuring out the answers to these questions, you need to have an open conversation with your spouse about their mother’s behavior and try to make them understand that it’s your marriage, so you two should be the ones in charge. You need to create a united front with your spouse and do as you please, even though you might not have your mother-in-law’s approval. This way, maybe she’ll understand that she’s not in control of your marriage and will back off.
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3. Your mother-in-law is very dramatic and sensitive.
Your job will be even harder if your mother-in-law is very dramatic and over-sensitive. Chances are she’ll be offended over the smallest things you say or do, and your family will have to deal with a lot of drama every time you’re visiting.
When your mother-in-law is trying to make you the bad cop by being melodramatic, you need to be very careful about how you respond. If you’re choosing the same behavior as hers and react madly, chances are you’ll have to deal with this issue forever. It would be wiser to just walk away and not participate in her dramas.
While it can be very hard, relationship experts recommend taking the high ground and ignoring her. Also, make sure you’re not letting her negativity affect your marriage.
4. Your in-laws are not respecting your privacy.
Having to deal with in-laws that come to your house unannounced all the time, search through your personal stuff, including emails or letters, and meddle in your private conversations can be very challenging, especially when you don’t want to hurt their feelings.
While being close to your in-laws is ideal, having them interfere with your personal space and invade your privacy is not acceptable. To solve this issue, you and your partner need to work together and be on the same page. Don’t share with them everything that happens in your life and don’t let them know every time you have a fight with your spouse. Also, you could ask them very nicely to call before coming to your house, or simply lock the door if you want a little privacy.
Also, you need to do the same for them in return. Respect their privacy and do not meddle in their arguments.
5. Your in-laws are treating your spouse like a child, even though they’re an adult now.
Some in-laws are still treating their sons/daughters as if they’re still babies, even though it’s been a long time since they’re not. While you might enjoy seeing your mother-in-law cooking your spouse’s favorite meal when you are visiting, or your father-in-law trying to do activities with them just like they did during your spouse’s childhood, it can be annoying when they’re always treating them as if they were still a baby.
For instance, when they’re worried about you going on a trip, they’re calling several times when you’re not picking up, when your spouse is feeling sick or has a cold they go crazy, and the worst that could happen is your in-laws blaming you for not taking better care of their child. Or not as good as they did.
If these things are not affecting your marriage there’s no need to make a big deal out of it, after all, they’re loving your spouse very much and want what’s best for them. in their unique way. While those things can be ignored, most of the time, this type of in-laws will not trust their son/daughter in making big life decisions with you.
However, if they’re going too far, you need to say something about it. They need to understand the limit, even though they won’t like it. Even though you appreciate their effort, they need to let you and your spouse make the big decisions on your own, only this way you’ll become an independent couple.
6. Your in-laws are not very friendly.
When you get married, the goal is to have a very good relationship with your in-laws and see them as an extra set of loving parents. However, that’s not the case for a lot of people, especially if their in-laws are not as friendly and welcoming as they would want them to be.
Maybe they appear to be very cold, unfriendly, and even rude at times. And maybe you even heard them saying mean things about you and your family, or they’re comparing you to your spouse’s ex-partner. But what can you do to end this not-so-great situation?
The first and most important thing you can do is let your partner know about their parent’s behavior. Also, don’t forget to mention that they’re hurting your feeling and putting you in uncomfortable situations all the time. It would be ideal if they will speak with their parents about you and asked them to be nicer.
However, when you’re discussing a topic as sensitive as this with your partner, you need to make sure you’re not saying the wrong things out of anger, after all, it’s their parents you’re talking about. Fighting fire with fire is not an option.
What you can do, is ask them why they’re acting like this when you’ve done nothing wrong, and tell them that you’re not okay with how they’re treating you. Having an open conversation with them will help you find a common ground that works for both of you and find a way to have a healthy relationship since you’re now family.
If you had the conversation and they’re still acting very rude towards you, try to give them space and limit the time you’re spending around them. While it’s normal to respect your in-laws, you need to accept the fact that sometimes you just can’t have the relationship you always wanted. You can’t be friends with someone if you’re not feeling the connection, and that’s OK.
7. Your in-laws are too attached to your spouse.
We’ve already talked about your in-laws acting as if your spouse is still a baby, but in this case, they’re the babies. They’re clingy and overly attached just because they don’t want to lose their son’s/daughter’s attention. The only problem is, this type of behavior could easily escalate to the point where they’re competing with you for your spouse’s love.
You’re going on a romantic trip at the weekend? They will certainly find a reason to call and ask you to postpone your plans over the smallest things. Or, they’re trying to manipulate your spouse by saying things like ‘You don’t love us anymore,’ or ‘You’ve changed since you got married.’
This is a tricky situation because obviously it’s your spouse’s parents we’re talking about, and they deserve to feel their child’s love and attention, even though they’re being very dramatic about it. What you shouldn’t do is hate them for it.
Understand that they are the way they are, and try to include them in your activities, including holidays and birthdays. This way, they’ll probably understand that you’re not an enemy and they won’t lose their child.
8. Your in-laws are very critical.
As a parent, you want what’s best for your children, and that also applies when it comes to their relationships. However, making mistakes is a natural part of life that helps you grow and evolve, and it’s certainly better than having your parents decide for you.
As a newly married couple, it’s not very easy to adjust to the new life, so having someone constantly watching and judging you can make it even more difficult. It’s even more challenging if your in-laws feel like you’re not enough for their child and you don’t fit their expectations. If your in-laws make you feel like nothing you do is OK, they’re toxic and you definitely shouldn’t accept that type of behavior.
They will always find something meaningful to say about you. For instance, if you’re working too much, you don’t care about your spouse, if you stay at home, you’re lazy. They judge you for not wanting to have a baby right away and criticize your decision. But when you finally become a parent, they criticize your parenting skills and have an opinion on how you should raise your child.
You can never win with these people, no matter what you do. These situations can make you feel very angry and frustrated, and even though you might feel like exploding and telling them to back off, you should think about taking a more diplomatic route. Try not to take things too personally even when they’re attacking your parenting skills.
Also, it would be great if you had your spouse as an ally and be on the same page. Even though your in-laws are very critical, you can still be nice and say something like ‘I appreciate your opinion, but this works better for us.’
You don’t need their approval and the only thing that really matters is you and your spouse see eye to eye on certain things. You need to stay positive and optimistic and continue to do your thing and who knows, maybe eventually they will see you have good intentions.
9. Your in-laws are trying to turn you and your spouse against each other.
Is one thing having to deal with unfriendly or unsupportive in-laws, but when they’re trying to turn you and your spouse against each other, things get a whole lot more serious. While it can be hard to understand that this type of person really exists, some in-laws are actually trying to destroy their child’s marriage.
Even more, some of them ask their children to pick a side between themselves and their spouses, making the situation even more challenging and unfair. These in-laws will also speak badly of their daughter-in-law in front of others. The only thing you can do in this situation does not give them satisfaction by taking the bait.
After all, you probably know your spouse better than this, so there’s nothing they can say to change your mind. If your mother-in-law is trying to manipulate you by sharing with you something about your spouse’s ex-partner, you need to listen to your instinct and not believe everything she says.
Also, make sure your spouse knows about their partner’s behavior and that they’re being supportive. They might not like the situation, but it’s important to know if they’re with you in this or not. Additionally, since this topic is so sensitive for your spouse, you might need to open up to your best friend and ask for support and advice. It will help you get things off your chest.
You need to understand that no one is perfect, the same way you have your own flaws and your spouse has them, your in-laws are not perfect either, and chances are they’re not going to change. Try to make peace with them and show them you have good intentions, but if it doesn’t work and they don’t want to meet in the middle, it might be better to move on and accept the situation.
And if you’re feeling isolated and lonely, you should definitely be checking out these brilliant ways to cope and combat such feelings!