Though many issues can creep up in a marriage, especially during the first few years—one which trumps them all is disrespectful in-laws. Even if things between the two of you are going well, not knowing how to maintain a good relationship with in-laws can completely destroy your otherwise healthy bond.
So, what do you do when it feels like your disrespectful in-laws just won’t stop bickering away at the way you two go about your marriage or won’t stop the constant condescension in your family? Even if it seems like all you want is to be far away from them, we’re here to tell you that things do get better. Let’s show you how.
How To Deal With Disrespectful In-Laws And Have A Good Relationship With Them
Dealing with disrespectful in-laws is tricky territory. If you’re too blunt with your reaction, you run the risk of upsetting your partner and their parents. If you let things go too much, you’re only going to be perceived as a pushover.
On the other hand, having a good relationship with them can literally introduce an added layer of bliss to your marriage. Seems impossible, right? Here’s what you need to do to make that possible.
1. Don’t doo it alone, team up with your partner
When you’ve got an issue with the way your in-laws have been towards you, trying to fight this fight alone is going to backfire on you for sure. Instead, have a conversation about it with your partner, and let them know what you go through and how it makes you feel.
When you have your partner on your side, you’ll both be able to practically find a way to voice your concerns in a dignified manner instead of a confrontational one. Even if you don’t voice your concerns immediately, having your partner validate your feelings is the perfect first step.
2. Set boundaries, not brick walls
One of the biggest complaints about disrespectful in-laws is the fact that they have little regard for a person’s boundaries. For example, if you’ve invited them over to yours for a dinner, they’ll show up with their own food, as if to say that you’re both incapable of hosting a dinner.
Once you and your partner have an amicable conversation with them about boundaries, like not barging into your private life or asking intrusive questions, try not to get enraged even if they violate them again (which they probably will).
Having a healthy relationship with your disrespectful in-laws will take a while, so make sure you’re extremely patient with them.
3. If possible, limit your interactions
Though it may not be possible in all cases, try to limit the number of times you see your in-laws. This will give you more of a threshold for the next time you see them, and you might even start working on making things better with them, given you see them so little now anyway. That always makes things easier.
4. Be empathetic and patient
It may seem impossible to approach the situation with empathy when you’re the one who is being belittled, but you need to understand that quickly reacting with anger is just going to make things worse.
If you lash back at your disrespectful in-laws, not only might you permanently hamper your relationship with them, your partner might turn against you as well. This situation is going to require you to be extremely patient, and you may need to bust out a few stress balls along the way.
5. Don’t stand for any blatant disrespect
It’s difficult for everyone to get adjusted in a marriage, but make sure you don’t take any outright disrespectful behavior that’s been thrown your way with the sole intention of mocking you. Though you need to be patient and empathetic, letting go of any misbehavior means you’re just fanning it.
However, once the disrespect is made apparent, you still mustn’t respond in a fit of rage. Try to collect your thoughts before you communicate them, or just take some time to yourself.
When you’re dealing with disrespectful in-laws, understand that salvaging this situation isn’t going to be a cakewalk. However, with the help of your partner and by a heaping serving of empathy and patience, there isn’t anything that you can’t fix. Who knows, by the time Christmas rolls around, you’ll be loving the laughter you’re sharing with your in-laws.