Dealing with Your In-Laws

Dealing with Your In-Laws

Are your partner’s parents pestering you to pieces?  Does their disapproval, disdain and dissatisfaction determine your day? Stumped for a solution that satisfies?  If you wish to stay with your partner, you need to find a way to make your relationship with these bonus parents work.

The best way to prevent problems is to be as pleasant as possible but stay strong in your resolve to set boundaries.  For this to work, your partner needs to back you up 100%.  These guidelines need to be set up early and reinforced as needed.

Unfortunately, this is easier said than done, because even if you can rely on this policy, there are always minor conflicts and irritations that arise every so often.  Here are a few of the most common issues

Your partner has a take charge kind of mother

How do you handle the situation if you are constantly being introduced to things that will make your life better, if you would only try them? What if this product barrage isn’t coming from advertisers, but from your mother-in-law?  The best way to avoid conflict is to keep a polite, but firm distance from the situation. Be gracious but neutral.

But what if the barrage is accompanied by an invasion? If your mother-in-law pops in without notice, you may have to have errands or other plans that remove you from the scene. A way to avoid conflict is to fix a specific day that she can come over for a visit, or even arrange a coffee or lunch date to keep you on neutral territory.

If you make her feel special by fixing a special day for the two of you, you can greatly improve your relationship. When it comes to visiting on her turf, insist that your partner plan the visits. They should know what pleases her.  Cooperate and help as needed but he is in charge of the event.

It’s just not the same

It is not uncommon for a partner to compare his current situation to his former, but if this turns into a litany of complaints that you don’t cook or clean like dear old mother, it may be time to hit rewind on his former conversations.  It is perfectly all right to gently remind him that there are things he didn’t like about the way his family did and that you two are on the road to a new life.


Something that complicates your relationship is the lending of money or other valuables.  If you are partners financially as well as romantically then you definitely need to be in the loop on how things are handled.

Your partner should not be lending funds to a relative without your knowledge and that should be the end of your involvement.  When it comes time to collect, your partner should be the one to take care of that.

A good way to avoid this all together is to keep your good fortune to yourself. Avoid bragging, and if someone asks about your finances simply ask them why they want to know.


If you find yourself in the situation where you have had to borrow funds from your in-laws, you may be unable to avoid tension. They may feel that they now have the right to comment on your life.  This can be even worse if you or your partner works for his parents.   The best way out of this is to avoid it all together.


The most common reason for tension between the generations is the possibility of grandchildren. Once you have tied the knot, the grandchild clock may start ticking.  No matter what you and your partner have agreed on, this may be an unavoidable issue.  Your only choice in this situation is to either ignore it or ask your partner to address the issue.

Social Pressures

When two families unite through marriage, it is only natural that there be adjustment issues. One way to avoid a cultural conflict is to meet his family whenever you can to see if there are major differences between your beliefs and theirs.  If there are things about his family that conflict with you and your values, you need to get that out in the open right away and see if it can be resolved or ignored before getting into a relationship.

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  1. Let’s be honest, if you need an instructional article on how to deal with in-laws, maybe the problem is bigger than you think. The ‘borrowers’ and ‘lenders’ sections make it sound like a finance textbook. How about just not getting entangled in your partner’s family financial drama to begin with?

  2. The guidance here aligns with many psychological studies on familial relationships. Establishing clear boundaries and maintaining open communication channels are fundamental strategies. However, it is imperative that both partners are equally committed to these guidelines to ensure their success.

  3. Ah, the delicate dance of appeasing in-laws. It’s truly a marvel how they are both uninvited guests and unwanted life coaches. The advice to make them feel special and involved, yet retain your autonomy, is like balancing on a tightrope: difficult but potentially rewarding if done correctly.

  4. The article offers practical advice for navigating the often tricky waters of in-law relationships. Setting boundaries early and maintaining them is indeed crucial. I found the recommendations on avoiding financial entanglements particularly insightful. However, the execution of these tips might be more challenging than it appears on paper.

  5. Oh, the blissful world of in-laws! Such an enlightening read. It’s almost as if the author assumes we’re dealing with rational, reasonable people. Newsflash: setting boundaries with overbearing in-laws is like trying to fence in a tornado. Good luck with that.


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