In laws & Outlaws: How Your Extended Family Affects Your Marriage! (Pt. 4)

The old “Have my daughter home by 9 pm”, said by a father who’s cleaning his shotgun, sometimes extends into marriage…


The relationship with your in-laws can have a huge impact on your marriage. Some people get really lucky with regard to their spouse’s extended family, while others get the short end of the stick. (Sometimes it’s the very short end!) However, as we’ve pointed out so far in this series, there are things you can do to reduce friction in your relationship with them. Which will also reduce your chances of a future divorce.


  1. Sharing Isn’t Always Caring:


Everyone needs someone to talk to when they are having problems at home. And if you and your spouse are struggling, then chances are, you appreciate a friendly ear every now and then. But if that ear happens to be attached to one of your parents, and they happen to not like your spouse, then you’re pouring gasoline on a fire.


Discussing with your parents (who already think poorly of your spouse) what they did wrong this week, isn’t going to help your marriage at all! Relationship concerns should be shared with someone who wants the best for you. And by that we don’t mean what they think is best for you. So choose wisely who you share marriage secrets with.


Also, parents sometimes struggle with their children’s “adult” relationships. They prefer to keep seeing their children as exactly that – children. So even if there is no animosity between your spouse and your folks, take heed! If not acknowledging your adulthood sounds like your parents, then you should keep your own counsel when it comes to airing your marital laundry. You could do a lot of damage without even realizing it.


  1. Keeping The Kids Out:


You may not like your in-laws, but they are your children’s grandparents, and that is a very special relationship to a child. Not many grandmother’s fit the soft and cuddly cookie-baking stereotype, but most grandmothers adore their grandchildren. Ditto most grandfathers.


So unless your in-laws are going out of their way to poison your children’s perspective of you (and this also applies to your parents trash talking your spouse to your kids) then you should not deny them this relationship.


Children are not pawns and should never, ever be used as tools to manipulate the other side in an argument. Threatening to deny your in-laws the right to see their grandchildren because they angered you, may get the desired result, but it will harm your children too!


Children need safe, loving, and supportive relationships with their family members. This means parents, siblings, uncles and aunts, cousins and certainly grandparents. So unless your in-laws are causing emotional or psychological harm to your children, try to put aside your own grievances and allow them to love each other.


Join us next time as we wrap up this series with the final two pieces of advice we have for you.  We know that marriage can be a struggle sometimes, and difficult family members can make it even harder! But sticking it out will be worth it in the end. Until then, if you need to speak to an experienced family law attorney, call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245. We are here to help you, the same way we’ve helped countless others around Michigan.