Monday, 4 March 2013
Marital Issues With In-Laws
They say when you marry a person, you marry his or her entire family. And try as we may to dismiss such statements as an exaggeration and an impossibility in our super independent lives, the truth is that somewhere in our hearts we know that we do in fact owe some fraction of our marriage to the existence of our in-laws. And contrary to what everyone may say, problems with in-laws arise when there's an equal participation from both parties. So it's not just a mother in-law who turns into a monster in-law and not just a daughter in-law who turns into a son stealer.
Things that you can do to solve such issues without tearing each others' hair out!
One of the major problems with your mother in-law that you're bound to have is that your husband is more her son than your husband. This can be an understandably frustrating situation for any wife. He may run to his mother for approval regarding the tiniest things and may even support her over you in certain matters. It can be really annoying to have a pure mama's boy for a husband, especially when you've seen the independent man he can be. Such situations can lead to a considerable amount of animosity between you and him. In such a situation, what you need to realize that is that it's perfectly natural for a son to feel a close affinity to his mother even after marriage. You need to be patient with him. Slowly and gently talk to him about the issue and try to make him understand that you have no issues with his mother as a person, but his extreme loyalty to her, over you, in matters that you know you are right in, bothers you. He'll definitely understand what you're saying and make the necessary amends.
Do your in-laws have an opinion about everything that you and your spouse do? Do they pick the colors of your curtains? Do they decide which school your kids should go to? And do they decide where you should be investing your money and demand to know all about your finances and other things? If you've answered yes to the above questions, then you may be experiencing an intrusion problem my friend. And the answer to this problem is NOT to tell them to stop interfering in your lives and leave you alone, but to again be patient and get through it. They're only looking out for you and your family, so don't discount their opinions altogether. When you do that, you may lose out on some potentially excellent advise that they may have on something that they have expertise in. So, pay heed to their opinions, but make it very clear to them that you'll consider their advise and not necessarily do as they want, because you may find a better option. This way, they have the satisfaction of having their say (literally and figuratively speaking) and you still get to hold your ground. The worst thing you can do is ignore them and their advise. So listen and do whatever seems feasible for you.
Every parent thinks that their child could have married someone better. Whether they accept that or not is an entirely different issue, but it's true that they always think that their own child is way too good for the person he or she gets married to. You have to graciously accept this fact and the possibly torturous condescending attitude that it brings with it. You may be subjected to a certain level of hostility and contempt by your in-laws because they think that you don't match up to their child for various reasons. It can become really difficult as a son in-law or daughter in-law to deal with someone who thinks little of you. What you need to remember in such situations is that your spouse chose you over all the other 'options' that he or she had. He or she loves you and married you, not anyone else. She or he already made the choice and picked you. That's what will get you through such a situation, not complaining and whining about it to your spouse. It will only upset him or her and widen the gap between you and your in-laws. Prove yourself to them and they'll see you in a completely different light altogether.
The main problem in almost every deteriorating relationship is a lack of communication. The absence of communication can turn problems that seem like mountains into molehills. Communication between you and your spouse, communication between you and your in-laws is the only way to let each other know that such and such problems exist. How else do you think the process of working towards eradicating the problems is going to be kick started? It's very simple really. Just because you don't live in the same city doesn't mean you cannot pick up the phone and make a call just to ask them how they're doing. Just spending awkward holidays with them is not enough. That spoils the flavor of the occasion and that's something that you don't want. So make an effort to maintain a stable communication with your in-laws. They're your family after all, aren't they?
Just keep in mind that they're your family, not your enemies. They love their child and so do you. There's bound to be a little tug of war, but hey, you signed up for that voluntarily, didn't you?