In-laws may be considered a group of people who act as the bane of many marriages. While this is not an accurate definition from a dictionary, the sentiment surely resonates for a large number of married folk. Divorce lawyers around the world have performed the last rites on countless marriages due to interference from in-laws.
Some use humor to cope and while jokes, mostly aimed at mothers-in-laws, may provide some comic relief, they do downplay the seriousness of the role of in-laws in the breakdown of relationships. In-law interference can be extremely damaging to a couple and if not dealt with in a correct manner, it can lead to families being torn apart.
There are many things you can do to limit your in-laws interference in your married life. Here are a few pointers to help you manage your in-laws:
• Do not have divided loyalties. Your first loyalty should be to the person you married and the family you created with him or her.
• Create strong boundaries. Make sure your in-laws know that the boundaries are not meant to close them out.
• If a wife has a problem with her mother-in-law, the husband needs to step in and vice versa. The person with the primary relationship should help in sorting out the differences.
• Do not criticize your partner’s relationship with your in-laws.
• Solve your problems within the marriage without involving your parents. Couples tend to speak to their families mostly about arguments and not about making up or the good times they share. This leaves their families with a skewed view of the relationship and gives them permission and license to interfere.
• Let your in-laws know, albeit gently, that their concern and care is appreciated but they do not hold a decision-making role in your family life