How do you handle difficult in-laws?

United States
November 3, 2010 3:53pm CST
We all have at least one in-law that is... challenging. How do you balance the love you have for your spouse with the challenge of dealing with that in-law? Do you stay quiet when you wouldn't with anyone else? Do you say your piece and deal with your spouse later? What is the best way you have found to handle this situation?
5 responses
@se7enthbird (8328)
• Philippines
3 Nov 10
we dont live with inlaws or we dont live near one too. my mother does not like the person i married so living near or with her is not a good idea. it is easier to handle that if you dont live in one house. my father is also very vocal of his disapproval of the person i married but i dont care. so it is always safe that we dont live near them. my wife is very friendly and in parties she always says hi to my parents but never really sit down with them on a table. my wife knows to adjust on situations like this. welcome to mylot kellie hope to see you more.
• United States
3 Nov 10
We live less than 10 minutes from my in-laws, and right next door to my mother. I try to be polite even though I'm not well liked. I feel as if I need to be. We have discussed relocating, but since my father passed away, my mom really feels alone, and I don't want to leave her. We will make the best of it, and hopefully some day it will change. Hope to see more of you too!
@Trensue (5265)
• United States
4 Nov 10
You weren't very specific about the issues - maybe some of us mean old mother-in-laws could help with more details. I have a letter I wrote years ago about respecting your children's choices that I have sent to many in-laws of friends!
• United States
4 Nov 10
Sounds like my in-laws could use a copy of that letter lol.
• United States
3 Nov 10
I honestly don't balance it at all. I detest every one of my in-laws and refuse to have anything to do with any of them I have not seen or spoken to any of them in over 4 years and I intend to keep it that way.
• United States
3 Nov 10
I envy you! If it weren't for how important my husband's family is to him I would do the same thing! I don't want to cause an emotional tug of war for him. If it didn't hurt him so much though I would have nothing to do with the situation. The thing is, when there isn't drama going on, and before it all started I really liked his family. Before he and I were together I was actually very close with his family, in fact, that is how we met. So it's hard, but I can see how someone could completely cut ties with their in-laws!
• United States
3 Nov 10
It actually wasn't hard at all. Once I realized what they really were, I told him outright that he could do whatever he wanted, but I want nothing to do with them ever again. He still maintained visiting them from time to time but I never wanted any part of it and I never saw them again. They recently moved across the country so it's not as much of an issue now, though since they're not in the area anymore.
• Philippines
3 Nov 10
I dont have problems with my inlaws to date. And yes there are difficult inlaws to deal with as much as you love your spouse this comes in a package and so you have to embrace it. I believe that the key for everything is to love someone and by that learning and accepting who they are, the more you find your inlaws to be difficult to deal with if you think negatively towards them. Drawing the line of between my spouse and my inlaws though, my spouse is always my priority. Nonetheless, since I am already part of their family, I would also consider whatever my inlaws needs and give them if I have something to give. Loving and respecting them like they are your own parents is a KEY to keep in mind for a better and smoother relationship.
• United States
3 Nov 10
I try very hard to keep things calm, however on at least one occasion I've been pushed into a very ugly exchange with one in-law in particular. I now find it very difficult to deal with this person as I am always waiting for the next verbal bashing. This person is having a lot of problems of their own, so I try to be understanding of that. I believe that because my husband has so much love for his family it is important to try to keep the peace. He has sided with me when those around us have made him choose, but I know it takes a very big emotional toll on him. So I somewhat limit contact without completely cutting them out of our everyday lives. I try to help when I can, but the one thing she really wants us to give her I can't give her. Or maybe I just won't at this point, as this thing is what started the bulk of the discord.
@Trensue (5265)
• United States
4 Nov 10
I think this is a very difficult position. I do not think it is fair to make a spouse choose. So I try and balance things out and keep him out of the equations. Sometimes I can call my sister or friends and vent and that is enough. Sometimes I have to say things they don't want to hear and stand up for myself. I have told my spouse that there is no need to defend me or stand up for me. I know he loves me - but there are times when I have to stand up for myself and our children and he has to respect that. The good and bad times come and go in cycles and we have found a way to have a civil, not perfect, sometimes great, relationship with all the family members. Does that make any sense?
@goldeneagle (6776)
• United States
4 Nov 10
I handle this the same way I handle other difficult people in my life...I stay away from them as much as is humanly possible...