In-laws can be a tricky thing. They usually fall into one of two categories. Either you love them or you hate them. Either you have a monster in law or a smother in law. Chances are your significant other is feeling the same thing about your parents. The question is how do you deal with them either way?
If you have smothering in laws:
The first step is to set boundaries. Although you may want to pack up and move to Guam in the middle of the night to get away from them, you cannot do that without causing more issues. A big one is you looking like the enemy and coming between them and your partner. Set aside time every month to spend time with extended family.
Compromise on the holidays. One thing that worked for me is to spend one holiday with his family and one with mine. New Years is always spent together.
Allow your Partner Alone Time with his parents: At the end of the day, this is what they really want – to feel like they haven’t lost their kid. You live with them, they no longer do. Let your partner spend time alone with their parents – this will make them feel like they are not missing out on anything.
If you don’t get along with your in-laws:
You still have to set some boundaries: Start with mutual respect. Your partner should never choose between you and them, but the parents have to understand that your family is your partner’s first priority.
Be the bigger person: Be cordial. Fighting and mess will only lead to bigger drama in the end. If possible try to have a talk with your in-laws, agree to disagree and try to bury the hatchet.
Choose to possibly steer clear for a bit: Let things cool off, and then try again. These are your partner’s parents and if you don’t have children yet, you may in the future and these will be the child’s grand parents.
As tough as it may be, you married your partner, not their parents, but they come along with the package. Do your best to maintain a neutral persona with your in-laws whether they are annoying or overbearing. Forever is a long time and that’s what you took vows for!