In laws & Outlaws: How Your Extended Family Affects Your Marriage! (Pt. 5)

Sometimes talking to your in laws can be like conversing with a statue – they simply don’t hear you!


Welcome back and thanks for sticking with us for this discussion on how your extended family can affect your relationships (sometimes badly!) For those of you just joining us, we recommend that you take a few minutes to get caught up. However, if you’ve been with us from the start, we’ll dive right in and wrap this up…


You may have chosen your spouse as a life partner, but their family comes as part of the package.  And like it or not, your life will be infinitely smoother if you can learn to get along with them. Impossible? Not at all. But it will require some hard work and effort on your part…


  1. Direct and to the point:


Never ask your husband to talk to his sister about something she did that upset you. And never ask your wife to discuss with her mother that thing she said that offended you. If you have a problem, you need to deal with it yourself.


It can be very difficult to be open and upfront with your extended family by marriage, but if you want a problem solved, you need to cut out the middleman. Sometimes the issues you’re facing are real problems that need to be discussed. Sometimes they’re no more than misunderstandings and mistakes.


Rather than holding a grudge, or putting your spouse in an awkward position by forcing them to deal with your problems, you need to take the bull by the horns (so to speak). Talk to the person you’re struggling with. Choose your words carefully, and don’t yell or make accusations. Talk about how you feel, and and explain what you’d prefer. You may be pleasantly surprised at the results.


  1. To thine own self, be true:


You may have wanted a soft spoken, cookie-baking mother-in-law but got a hard-as-nails toughie with no culinary aspirations instead. Likewise, your mother-in-law may have wanted a “Mr Fix-it” and all-around-handyman for her daughter, but instead got an avid reader and backpacker who couldn’t unclog a toilet if his life depended on it.


Face it. You are who you are, and your in-laws are who they are. They can’t change you any more than you can change them. So perhaps modifying your expectations will help. Stop worrying about who you think they want you to be, and stop expecting them to be anything other than who they are.


Expecting people to be something they’re not causes tension and resentment. Work to accept your in-laws (all of them!) for who and what they are. This’ll go a long way towards smoothing the interactions you have with them, and also allow you to set more realistic expectations.


As long as you’re married to your spouse, you’re stuck with their family as an extended part of yours. So instead of making this a miserable arrangement for everybody involved, learn to love and appreciate them for who they are. You may just find that with time, they respond with more kindness and less judgment as well.


If you believe you’ve tried everything and your in laws are still unbearable, we understand that there may simply not be a way to fix this. If this sounds like your situation, and you believe that your marriage can’t be saved, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245. Our skilled family law attorneys can help you with every aspect of the process moving forward, from the divorce process itself, to custody agreements, visitation and alimony.