In-Law Issues...6 Signs It's Time To Set Boundaries With Your In-Laws
When we get married, we are not just marrying the person, we are actually marrying their whole family. With family comes a lot of love, but also family drama. You may get lucky and marry into a wonderful family who are loving and supportive of your union. Or you may end up with in-laws who butt in, undermine, and sabotage your relationship.
I would like to hope that the in-laws who butt in are well meaning, but regardless of their intentions, they need to respect your relationship, and not crossover into disrespectful intrusiveness. Whether it’s your parents, your spouses parents, or your respective siblings, in-laws can actually cause a lot of relationships issues that lead to divorce.
6 Signs It’s Time To Set Boundaries With Your In-Laws
They Show Up Unannounced
You had no plans to see your in-laws, but they just show up at your door whenever they want. You are then expected to drop everything you had planned, whether that was running errands or taking a nap, and host them.
They Criticize Your Parenting
When it comes to your parenting, your in-laws always have a lot to say. You’re holding the baby wrong. You’re not discipling enough. They even have something to say about whether or not you should not be working, because of course they made all the right parenting decisions.
They Give Unsolicited Relationship Advice
They want to try to tell you what you are doing wrong as a wife or husband. Perhaps maybe even your spouse confided in their sibling or parent about some relationship issues you are having, or they are making some assumptions about your relationship. Either way, they are butting in where they don’t belong.
Whether your in-laws have been married for 50 years or they are twice divorced, every relationship is different and no one has all the answers.
They Are Hyper Critical Of Your Partner
Some people will never be perfect enough for daddy’s little girl or a mama’s boy, but interfering in-laws can ruin a relationship by poisoning with words and creating doubt. No one is perfect, but having a parent point out everything that is wrong with your spouse is toxic and unhealthy.
They Make Demands On Your Free Time
You and your spouse like to spend most weekends being cozied up at home or spending time be with friends and being active. However, your parents expect Sunday dinners every week or family game night every Friday. Attendance is required…or else. You love your family, but you are an adult and you get to decide how you spend your free time.
They Emotionally Blackmail
When you and your partner are not complying with all of your in-laws wishes they engage in guilt trips and emotional blackmail. They may call you ungrateful, selfish, or any other term in order to make you feel like crap to get their way. Don’t fall for this. It’s a manipulation tactic used to control.
Family is important, but family can also be a big pain in the butt when they try control you and your partner, and refuse to respect appropriate boundaries. Everyone needs boundaries, even our loved ones. It can be a very uncomfortable conversation to have, especially with your parents, to tell someone they need to give you and your partner space and respect your established boundaries.
Your marriage and relationship will have many challenges of its own without outside interference. It is better to bite the bullet, and be honest, than to allow overbearing family members to create more problems for you and your partner.
What are your thoughts on dealing with intrusive in-laws? Have you experienced situation? What did you do? Please share your thoughts and experience!
“Children who are not encouraged to do, to try, to explore, to master, and to risk failure, often feel helpless and inadequate. Over-controlled by anxious, fearful parents, these children often become anxious and fearful themselves. This makes it difficult for them to mature. Many never outgrow the need for ongoing parental guidance and control. As a result, their parents continue to invade, manipulate, and frequently dominate their lives.” ― Susan Forward, Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life