How to Deal with Overbearing Inlaws

How to Deal with Overbearing Inlaws

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  1. The In Laws are Coming

    Having overbearing in laws can be extremely frustrating. You may find yourself wanting to pull out your hair when the in laws come to visit. To make matters worse, your spouses’ family may not understand that they are being controlling in the first place. Most of the time, their intentions are good, if more than a little misguided. Here are some tips for dealing with controlling and overbearing in laws.

    Set Some Boundaries

    Often times, you may find that your in laws are pushy and controlling. They may try telling you what to do, or how you can do something better. It may be nearly impossible to bite your tongue. But in most cases this is the best option for keeping the peace. The easiest thing to do is set parameters before they arrive for their next visit. Make sure to clearly outline the rules for your home. One of the simplest ways to accomplish this is over the telephone or in an email. Firmly but politely explain that you have certain rules in your home that everyone, including guests, must follow. Make it clear that if these rules are not respected, then they are not welcome. It is best to convey this message in a clear but kind way with respect to their feelings. If there are any objections, that is an excellent time to communicate to them that you will always extend the same amount of respect to their rules while in their home.

    Avoid Complaining About Your In Laws

    Negativity inevitably begets even more negativity. By constantly complaining about their annoying habits, you are dwelling on only the negative qualities of your seemingly arrogant in laws. Remember, these are the people that had a hand in raising your beloved husband(or wife). As such, they surely have redeeming qualities that can be focused on. Keep this in mind the next time your mother in law insists that you are not cooking the Thanksgiving turkey the proper way. Pick and choose your battles wisely, and decide if it is something worth fighting about.

    It can be extremely frustrating to have someone looking over your shoulder and second guessing everything you are doing. It’s certainly enough to make anyone angry. But dwelling on all the things that go wrong usually leaves no room to notice what is going right. Like the way that they dote on your children. Or the way that you get to sleep in while they cook breakfast for the whole family. Take time to notice all the good things, and the bad things will lose a lot of significance in the long run.

    Put Yourself in Their Shoes

    Once upon a time, they were young parents too. They had to face many of the same issues that you now face today. Try not to get defensive when advice is being offered. Instead, thank them for their input, and keep an open mind. Remember too, it may be difficult for them to remember that their beloved child is now an adult. To them, your spouse or partner will always be their baby. While this can sometimes be exasperating, remember that they may need time with this subtle but important transistion of their own role as parents.

    Give it Time

    Finally, remember that with time and effort, you can make visits from the in laws a more relaxed and pleasant experience for everyone. Don’t sweat the small stuff, but stand your ground on the issues that are most important to you. There are no guarantees, but you may ending forging new friendships. With these pointers, it is possible to forge a respectful and positive relationship with your in laws that can last a lifetime.

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