Are your in-laws driving you nuts? Are you incredibly frustrated but not sure what to do because they are your partner’s parents and you want to be respectful?
I get it. In-laws can be a challenge. I know there were certainly in-law struggles in my marriage and sometimes things didn’t go well.
I have thought about my struggles during those early days of our marriage and what I could have done differently. I have many more life skills now than I had then and I have decided that I could have done things differently.
What I have learned since then is that you can’t change other’s behavior but you can change your reaction to them. A person is how a person is and, unless they want to change, they won’t. Controlling how you react to their behaviors is something that you can do and, when you do, you might find that dealing with an overbearing in law is possible.
So, with that idea in mind, here are some things to keep in mind about your in laws that might help you change your reaction to them so that you can deal with them in a healthy way.
5 Ways to Cope With Your In-Laws
1. They have experience that you don’t have.
Your in-laws have been doing what you are just beginning to do for probably more than a few decades. That is a lot of experience, experience that you should appreciate and take advantage of. Much like when you start a new job, you are new at this and looking towards someone with more experience, whether you like them or not, can help you succeed. And, as a parent or a newlywed, whether you realize it or not, you can use all of the help and insight that you can get.
An excellent way to deal with in-laws driving you crazy is to ask them to share that experience with you. Asking them questions, getting their opinions, sometimes even deferring to their wishes, will all help you connect with them. And if they feel like they are playing some part in their child’s new life then they will be way easier to get along with.
Of course, you don’t necessarily have to follow their advice but even being asked about it will give them some satisfaction. That being said, you might just learn something that you never thought of and is an excellent idea!
So, mine some of the experience that you have right at hand. You will be glad you did, for many reasons.
2. They raised you partner.
I know it’s hard to imagine but your in-laws did raise your partner. They fed them and bathed them and changed their diapers for years. They taught them how to do just about everything that they do.
Your in-laws had a profound influence in your partner’s life for 18 years or more. And that shouldn’t be discounted. They even deserve some credit and respect for the fact that they did that. And you love your partner – that is why you are with them. Your in-laws must have done some things right.
And even if they didn’t do such a great job as parents, chances are they will be great grandparents. For some reason, good parenting can skip generations.
My mother-in-law always told me that her son could clean a toilet and vacuum like a madman. I told her that, after 20 years of marriage, I had retrained him: he cleaned nothing anymore. I see now that that was a slap in her face. She worked hard to raise the person that she did and she should to be recognized, and appreciated, for that.
And I did love the person who her son had become. I wish I had had more respect for that.
3. They love your kids as much, if not more, than you do.
They say that being a grandparent is the most wonderful thing in the world. That you get all of the joys of being a parent without all the difficulties. So, know that, at the very least, one more person is madly in love with your child.
I know that my grandmother was a huge positive influence in my life. She hadn’t been a great mother to my mother but, for me, she was amazing. And I have learned, from my own mother, that having grandchildren is the best thing that ever happened to her.
So, appreciate that this person loves your children as much as they do. After all, every person who loves your child is a gift.