In-laws interference is ruining your relationship with your spouse and you are clueless about what to do, In this article, we provide you with eight smart ways to be in a win-win situation forever.
Sahil and Shruti just got married last month and were sailing smoothly until one fine day – in midst of a petty argument related to attending a party that evening there was a knock on the bedroom door. Shruti opened the door and found her in laws standing there. They enquired about the argument and passed their ‘experienced’ judgment. Things pretty much got worse from here as this became a normal routine.
The couple’s each act was being monitored by Sahil’s parents- Where do they go, how much time they spend in the bedroom, the issues they argued about etc. This became an ordeal for Shruti – akin to a courtroom, where day in and out, they had to present their schedule and were subjected to ‘expert’ analysis with verdicts on right and wrong. This interference ruined the couple’s relationship as they were never able to express their true feelings and had absolutely zero privacy.
In-laws interference, a common problem in India
This scenario is commonplace in Indian households where overbearing parents take it their duty to give ‘advice’ to couples. It is not that only women are affected by in-laws men too are affected by in-laws and get stressed but in a different manner. However ideally a woman is expected to make most of the adjustment to accommodate in her new family, hence the greater share of stress from her in-laws is borne by her.
According to Komal, askmile’s relationship therapist, 4 out of 10 marriages fail because either one of the partners finds it hard to put his/her foot down and tell the parents – to stop interfering. She adds up saying “What would help is to first understand the kind of household one is getting married into and to clear out things prior to the marriage of what one is to expect from it.”
Ways to cope up with too much interference from in-laws:
1. Communicate with your partner
In the above case if Shruti and Sahil would have taken a step forward and communicated about this matter to each other about this issue it could have been resolved. According to Sneha, our marriage counselor “an honest communication between couples is the most effective remedy to parental interference”.If the couples explicitly share what they feel about the other partner’s parents and their interference in their life, things will not go out of hand.
2. Set a line with your in-laws
According to an old saying “Good fences make good neighbors, “Setting up a line here doesn’t mean making your partner’s parents feel neglected. It means patiently letting them know that their concern and care are appreciated and gently reminding them that both of you are adults and would like to resolve personal issues on your own. According to our relationship expert, “To get on with your in-laws in a healthy manner, both you and your partner have to present a united front. It can be difficult to stand up to set boundaries and rules, but if you and your partner are supportive of one another, you’re more likely to succeed.”
3. Solve your disputes yourself
Solve your arguments within the marriage without involving your parents. Couples have a propensity to speak to their families mostly about fights and not about making up for the good times they share. This leaves their families with a skewed view of the relationship and actually acts as a license to interfere.
4. Just be yourself
According to the famous saying by Shakespeare – “Don’t try to remake yourself into the person your in-laws want”. According to Mitasha her MIL was a super housekeeper. Her house was always perfect and shining. But she was working women and was not so perfect in housekeeping so whenever the In-laws come, they go into high gear cleaning up. But no matter how much they clean, her mother in law always found something that needed the attention whenever she visited. This always led to frustration and disappointment.
5. Let it go
Sometimes it is necessary to let it go. Everyone has annoying habits. As a couple, make a list of the annoying things your parents or your in-laws have. Then, summoning all the goodwill you can find, agree on the ones you can probably ignore or privately laugh about. If there are some you really can’t live with, discuss the best way of tactfully asking your in-laws to stop doing them. If it’s your parent or parents, chances are you’ll know how to do this best – whether it’s using humor or taking them aside for a quiet word, suggests Askmile’s Expert relationship advisor. Avoid making your spouse choose between you and a family member as it’s impossible for them to take sides. Rather try and understand the relationship your spouse has with his or her family. And if possible, try to support that relationship. Even if your spouse has parents from hell, they are after all his or her parents.
6.Keep in touch with your In-laws
Sakshi and Sandeep lived abroad and after they had kids they hardly had any time to visit their parents. Sandeep parents starting complaining of being left alone and asked them to return home or shift Sakshi and kids there. Sakshi and Sandeep denied to it but they took out a middle way they ensured that they make a phone call every day to their parents so that they don’t feel the same and it worked. There’s no right or wrong amount to keep in touch, so if your partner’s family’s style of communication is different from yours, you need to accept this. US-based relationship expert Dr. Phil recommends, “You’ve got a finite amount of physical and emotional energy. If your in-laws are draining you, then there is a need to change the boundaries. Reassure them that you are not closing them out, you are simply focusing on yourselves.”
7. Be mature and act wiser
Your parents have to love you; it’s in the contract. But your in-laws don’t. Accept the fact that your in-laws aren’t your parents and won’t follow the same rules. Try to think “different” — not “better” or “worse.” To make this work, give in on small points and negotiate the key issues. For example – Sheetal was a vegetarian; and also rarely cooked it for her husband. Nonetheless, for years her mother-in-law would make non-veg dishes when they went to her house for dinner. Sheetal realized that her MiL was trying to please her non-veg deprived son. Big deal: She learned to have a salad before she ate at her house. Her husband porked up in peace and the outcome was a “win -win”.
8.Don’t consider this situation as a battle
According to our relationship, expert Komal “Becoming a member of a new family is not only new for the newlywed wife but also new for the family into which she is going to be a part of. It is challenging for both sides and neither of them is in a war against each other. It would help if both sides could express to each other that they are on the same side. The in laws are only trying to ensure their position and the newlyweds are only trying to establish theirs, and it would be great to share the same understanding and figure out mutually how both sides could meet each other’s Hence, building a good relationship is just building oneself in a better way. Finally, as we recommend to our readers dealing with issues – it is a function of how you view the problem and how much control you allow it to exert over your own feelings. More than trying to change the other person, accept and adapt ourselves is a better way to deal with this stress. If you have any questions you would like to ask, please comment below or ask our expert relationship counselor here.
Building a good relationship is just building oneself in a better way. Finally, as we recommend to our readers dealing with issues – it is a function of how you view the problem and how much control you allow it to exert over your own feelings. More than trying to change the other person, accept and adapt ourselves is a better way to deal with this stress.
If you have any questions you would like to ask, please comment below or ask our experts at Askmile.com.