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The How-To Lounge: Dealing with Overbearing In-Laws




Now that you are married, you have not only gained a life partner, but a set of in-laws. If you're one of the lucky ones, you have developed a good relationship with the mother and father of your new hubby, but if you're unfortunately like most newlyweds, getting along with the dreaded in-laws is no small feat. Learn how to cope with overbearing in-laws below.

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  • If you can, try to get along with your in-laws as best you can from the get go. They are now a part of your life forever so developing a good repertoire will benefit all involved, especially when you have children
  • Many wives and mother in-laws develop a competitive relationship. (MIL's seem to be more of a problem than FIL's simply because women pay closer attention to detail and over all seem to be more sensitive than men) Some MIL's feel threatened by the new wife that she is "stealing her son away", so try to be as understanding as possible during the first few months to a year after tying the knot, but don't be a push over! Marriage is an adjustment for the bride and the groom in addition to the in-laws
  • Blood is thicker than water so if you need to talk about the tough issues, as a rule of thumb, the wife should deal with her family while the husband should deal with his
  • Some men have a difficult time cutting the umbilical cord if you will so if your mother in-law is calling incessantly, or if your husband is always saying, "Well, my mother thinks we should move the couch more towards the right," or "She doesn't like our paint color in the study," you're going to have to sit him down and create some boundaries. You are now husband and wife - you should be your husband's first priority - so if you're unhappy, you need to work on a way to remedy the situation, ASAP
  • Keep a healthy distance from your in-laws. If you start to tell them all your personal business, they will soon think it is theirs. It is important, however to stay connected with the in-laws so they don't feel left in the dark. Finding a happy medium will no doubt take time, but it can be done

I hope these tips are helpful for all you newlyweds out there. Seeing as how I am not yet married, if you have other tips you would like to share, please dish away below!

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Join The Conversation
frustrated11 frustrated11 7 years
I am married, and have been for 8 months. We lived with his parents for 9 months before we got married...so I completely understand how they work. I was promised as soon as we moved out things would be different. I understand that they only want the best for my husband, but they are so overbearing that I feel like I am constantly fighting with my husband over them. He doesnt understand that he has yet to cut the cord..I understand that they just want to help, but enough is enough. I am sick of talking about finances with them. Any suggestions?
chancleta chancleta 8 years
i'm so blessed to have super cool in-laws! that being said my general rule of thumb is this:treat his mom the way you'd like him to treat yours
chancleta chancleta 8 years
i'm so blessed to have super cool in-laws! that being said my general rule of thumb is this: treat his mom the way you'd like him to treat yours
bfly1133 bfly1133 8 years
I have a few comments to add. Don't forget the wife's parents can be just as bad as the husband's. Make an agreement with your significant other that any disagreement or fight stays between the two of you. Parents (and friends!) can have a hard time forgetting. Create boundaries now and stick to them. If you wait until things become a problem it can be difficult to make them stick.
Feesje Feesje 8 years
I'm not married, but these tips are still useful for me. My boyfriend is SUCH a mama's boy, and sometimes I get fed up with that. I can definitely relate to the "my mother says we should move the couch/bed/cupboard"-issues. I always reply (with a smile): "Your mother doesn't live here". :)But I guess I have to be a little bit more understanding, after all he is her only son.
Feesje Feesje 8 years
I'm not married, but these tips are still useful for me. My boyfriend is SUCH a mama's boy, and sometimes I get fed up with that. I can definitely relate to the "my mother says we should move the couch/bed/cupboard"-issues. I always reply (with a smile): "Your mother doesn't live here". :) But I guess I have to be a little bit more understanding, after all he is her only son.
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