HOW TO HANDLE MEDDLING IN-LAWS
Often times, being married to your lovebird automatically means being married to each other’s family In this case, you not only have to adjust to your partner, you also have to build a new relationship with the family.
Why then do you clash with your in-laws?
Most relationships come with their own joys, trials and tribulations.
However, when you commit to your spouse, in-laws are never considered to play any major role in the union whether you have tied the knot or in a long term relationship. In-laws can be toxic as they can have a limiting, and negative impact on your marriage.
Having the perfect marriage doesn’t mean things can’t change, the more reason you have to protect your marriage from in-laws. Sometimes, your in-laws don’t just like you or you simply don’t like them.
This could be as a result of their meddling all the time, and they can go out of their way to make you feel bad. As such, it is critical you limit the effect they have on your life.
Knowing very well that you didn’t get married looking for an ax to grind with your in-laws, but over the course of your marriage, you’ve had cause to question their character and morality. In fact, there have been many times that you’ve wished you could just divorce yourself from them.
Unfortunately, this is impossible.
It is very possible for a marriage to survive even when you don’t get along with your in-laws.
The same way, it’s possible to have a beautiful garden even if you have a few weeds. This will only take a clear understanding and agreement between you and your spouse (the old saying about marrying your partner’s family is true to the extent you let it be).
The influence of extended family can be very strong on ones marriage and must never be underrated or underestimated. It’s a subject better dealt with head-on and not left to chance.
As married man or woman, your allegiance should be to your spouse as your new family takes priority. Hopefully, everyone can still get along. You must always keep a united front in any disagreement between your spouse and your family.
You need to side with your spouse if his or her position is reasonable and rational. If someone has to be disappointed, it should be the in-laws not your partner [bitter truth].
Couples need to manage their relationships with their parents because you are the one with feet in both camps. Play the devil’s advocate with your parents if you truly and really want to protect your marriage from meddling in-laws. It is unfair and ultimately unworkable to leave this role to your spouse to handle. This means, you will have to deal with any outstanding issues you have with your parents.
Setting healthy boundaries are the foundations of any healthy relationship and the core of your self-respect. Let your significant other know what terms/boundaries you have and also give them the space they need to make their own in return.
At the end of which, you both will clearly define and enforce reasonable boundaries with your respective relatives, rather than holding grudges against them. Be honest with them in a respectful yet firm manner. Do not allow any kind of behavior or habits to start that you don’t want to live with for the rest of your marriage life.
While you can’t stop your parents from trying to do what they want, calmly refusing to go along with them is a choice you must make. Refuse to be manipulated; the more you try to change their mind or behavior, the more power you give them in your life.
They may test you to see if you will back down by throwing tantrums, hanging the phone on you, threatEning you, or storming out of your house. It is really important you maintain your stand even if they feel offended by your healthy behaviour. It’s okay to grieve their choice, manage your hurt and move on.
Sometimes, the above things are done and there will still be animosity between your spouse and your parents. Learn to let go of that idea of one big happy family, there is no need to choose between them in order to have a happy married life. Although your spouse may never want to have anything to do with your family, you can still be in contact with them, and it is okay to visit them alone.
You will just have to adjust your expectations about when and how you see them, while protecting your marriage at the same time. Drop your end of the rope and stop trying to make everyone get along. Don’t force the friendship.
The two parties can always change their position over time.
Get to be on the same team with your spouse and know that you cannot change your family’s behaviour, only your response to it. So make sure to always give clear and united response that supports your marriage.
Be careful about what is okay to share about your marriage with your parents since you know them better than any other person.
Be smart not to betray your spouse’s confidence or vulnerability. Always tell them about the positive aspects of your spouse and marriage. Let their relationship be as easy as possible.
Although not all in-laws are bad or created the same, learn to spot the toxic ones. The signs are not very easy to spot though they always manifest in damaging ways. It is only when the signs are spotted on time that you can effectively put a stop to it. So, try not to make a bad situation in your marriage and limit the effect before it tears your world apart.
At the end of the day, accept your man with all his flaws and qualities, take it that his family may never change. Try making things better by finding solutions and improve yourself. If all else fails, move on.