Mad About Marriage

Dealing with the Inlaws: His Parents

Home »  All Posts »  Dealing with the Inlaws: His Parents

Dealing with the Inlaws: His Parents

Dealing with the inlaws is much harder for women than it is for men.  In fact, it is not always a good thing for the woman to get along with her husband’s parents. Research shows that if a woman is close to her husband’s parents, the couple’s risk of divorce can increase by 20 percent!

Why does having close ties with the inlaws lead to divorce? Because it gives the in-laws, and especially the mother in law, more leeway to meddle in the marriage. The inlaws feel justified to comment on and interfere with various aspects of the couple’s life.

Also, some women want to be close to their inlaws for all the wrong reasons. For instance, if a woman wants to change her husband’s mind on a certain issue, getting his parents on her side might help. However, this makes the man feels as if his wife and his parents are united against him.

Setting Boundaries with the Inlaws

Dealing with the inlaws is a lot less stressful if you set boundaries. Just because they are your husband’s parents doesn’t mean they need to know or have a vote in everything that happens in your lives. You and your husband should discuss what areas of your life are off limits for the in-laws. These could include finances, holidays, parenting skills, domestic skills and major life decisions.

Boundaries will only be useful if they are communicated clearly to the inlaws. Suddenly enforcing boundaries you have not communicated to the inlaws can be confusing for them and making comments or dropping subtle hints about boundaries isn’t enough. You and your husband should both have a talk with your in-laws and explain the boundaries clearly.  Alternatively, your husband can communicate the boundaries to his parents on his own as long as he presents them as mutual decisions.

Dos and Don’ts for Daughter In Laws

Don’t take everything that your in-laws say personally. They probably just want to feel included in your lives. If your mother-in-law makes a suggestion or recommendation, just tell her you will consider it. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to ask for her input every once in a while. You don’t have to do what she says, simply listen to her advice and ideas.

Another way to make your in-laws feel included in your lives is to call them and update them regularly on what’s happening in your lives. Also, remember their birthdays and anniversaries and invite them for dinner in your home occasionally.

Lastly, never speak ill of your in-laws. Comments like “I hate my mother in law” should never leave your mouth. If you gossip about your in-laws, they will find out, and this might destroy your relationship altogether.

While some in-laws will go to any length to prove that you are not good for their son, most just want to feel included. Most of the time dealing with the inlaws  is simply a matter of setting boundaries and letting them know what they can and can’t interfere with. If you can do this, you will be on a fast track to a happy marriage.