Getting Along with In-laws

Your spouse may be under their parents’ control and this becomes more apparent after the wedding. Instead of putting you first- his/her parents may retain their position of being in charge of their life. There are ways to loosen those ties without severing them completely.

1. Get some clear boundaries. Robert Frost was correct when he stated “Good fences make good neighbors.” Set up your fences (boundaries) with your in-laws to make sure that you are all on the same page. They may be used to just popping in whenever they please with family and friends. Let know that your policy is for everyone to call first. If you have a health issue, that can be your excuse. One woman with lupus explained that she required naps and down time and even had a locked gate to keep out unwanted visitors.

2. Do not give your in-laws your house key for emergencies. Instead, give it to a neighbour or friend. Even if you are out of town, that can be an opportunity to snoop. One woman was stark naked when her in-laws walked into her house unannounced. If they have keys, have the locks changed, stating that too many people have access to your house keys.

3. Set up guidelines with your spouse regarding what personal information can be shared with others, whether it is financial or intimate subjects. If in-laws are nosey, be vague or say that is between Jerry and me.

4. In-laws may give unsolicited advice, no matter how loving they are. Have some stock answers ready for this barrage of suggestions. Some are: “I’ll check on that”, “I will get the pediatrician’s input” or “that is interesting.” Some savvy women pre-empted unwanted advice by asking specifically what to do in a situation. Some answers were actually helpful and it cut down on the amount of unwelcomed advice.

divorcedmoms.com/articles/the-dreaded-inlaw