Are your in-laws driving you crazy? Do they meddle too much, make mean comments or insults thinly disguised as insults (such as, “That dress is really nice, dear, it hides your fat thighs.”) Maybe they’re overcritical, and find fault in everything you do.
One of the unspoken laws of marriage is that when you pick a husband, you also pick his family. You may not be best friends but you’ve got to deal with them , somehow, and emotionally distance yourself so they don’t upset you as much. Here are some tips.
Build a relationship—in baby steps
You don’t need to be bosom buddies, and even if you do, it won’t happen overnight. Just try to connect to your in laws, but in a way that won’t cause either of you to clash. The secret lies in short conversations about neutral things. Send email forwards. Call them up to ask for a recipe. Have them over for dinner, but invite other people too so everyone’s on their best behavior. That way you can gradually build a connection or at least get used to each other. (Read our article on how to impress your in laws.)
Find out more about her
Even the most annoying people have their strengths and their interests. Try to find out more about your inlaws. Maybe he enjoys old musicals and war films. Maybe she used to be a ballet dancer when she was younger, or has a fondness for cats. Gather these info—from talking to other relatives, your partner, or from picking up small comments in the conversation—and then try to learn as much as you can about them. That will give you something to talk about, and hopefully the topic will put them in a good mood and enjoy the conversation.
Choose your battles
Some comments aren’t worth listening to. Just let them go, realize that they’re saying these things because they’re insecure or threatened or are just chronically tactless, and decide not to be affected by them. However, there are some issues—like the way you discipline your children ,or anything that affects your marriage—that should not be ignored. Tell your partner what bothers you and let him handle the situation with his parents. It’s important that you set a united front when it comes to those issues and that your partner brings it up, because he knows his parents best and how to explain things to them.
photo from joyerickson.wordpress.com