On television and in literature in-laws are always made out to be the bad guys. In reality, they aren’t a bunch of overbearing outsiders trying to get into your relationship business. But there are times when they can strain your relationship. Where can find in-law solutions? This article will guide you through strategies to help you deal with in-laws in both positive and negative situations.
Often In-laws Have Good Intentions
Remember, in-laws have the parental instinct. They want to help, and most times their intentions are good. But sometimes problems arise when in-laws try to help a bit too much or offer too much unsolicited advice.
Just keep in mind that it also takes time for your in-laws to break away from the role of being “parents.” For years they had been offering advice and guidance to their children, so it sometimes is difficult for them to realize that you and your spouse are now grown adults capable of making good decisions.
In-law Solutions —Show a United Front
It’s important when dealing with in-laws to maintain a united front with your spouse. The worst thing you can do is play to both sides and split your loyalties. Your spouse has to come first, so work with them to figure out a plan for troublesome in-laws. Make sure you and your spouse are on the same page.
Protect Your Boundaries
Make sure to make your boundaries are clear. If your in-laws are offering unsolicited advice or meddling in your relationship affairs, you need to make it clear that it is not okay. It is best to set boundaries as soon as possible, because the longer you wait the more blurred the lines between you, your spouse, and your in-laws becomes.
Remember, you and your spouse are the authority figures for your family. You make the decisions, and your in-laws will have to learn to respect it. Respect must go both ways for relationships with your in-laws to stay healthy.
Meet Outside of The Home
If there is tension between you and your in-laws, often meeting them at a space outside of your homes can make things easier. A restaurant, park, or even a stroll through the city, allows you to maintain a relationship, but also keeps you from feeling trapped. If things start to go poorly you can always cut the outing short without feeling like you are kicking your in-laws out of your home or stuck in their home.
In-law Solutions —Be Wary of Favors
If you are already on shaky ground with your in-laws, be wary of accepting any favors from them. Sometimes favors are double-sided and your in-laws might try to hold it above you or demand something in return.
Keep in mind, this isn’t the case for all relationships. But if your relationship with your in-laws isn’t the best, power dynamics could be at play. In these cases, it might be best to decline a favor.
It’s Not About Taking Sides
If it’s your in-laws causing problems, it’s not uncommon for your spouse to feel conflicted. Remember, these are your spouse’s parents and he or she has spent the entire first part of their life growing up with them. Your spouse wants to please them and please you. Acknowledge these emotions as valid.
Just remember asking your spouse to stand up to your in-laws isn’t about taking sides. It is about setting a boundary between their relationship and yours.
In-law Solutions —Don’t Share Marital Problems
One of the best ways to set up boundaries for you in-laws is to not expose your marital problems. It might be tempting to want to talk about them, but your in-laws aren’t the right sounding board. Doing so gives them an open door to enter into places in your relationship where they aren’t welcome.
Instead, if you are experiencing marital problems, consider scheduling a marital counseling session with an experienced couple’s therapist. These professionals have the education and knowledge to guide you through marital issues. And the best part is, your in-laws don’t need to be involved.
In-laws can be a great addition to your extended family. But there are times where they might overstep their bounds. Remember, it’s your marriage and your family and you set the rules. If situations with your in-laws aren’t as smooth as you’d like, use this article for tips to help improve the relationship.