In-Law Struggles Every Couple Has

April 16, 2018  |  
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The relationship with in-laws is such a delicate one. When you first started dating your now spouse, you would have done anything to earn his parents’ approval. Don’t you remember? You backed them up in all of their opinions, you’d never disagree with them, you always brought them gifts, you helped out around their home, and you were their doting little pet. Maybe it wasn’t that extreme but, you had a one-track mind when it came to your partner’s parents and that was make sure they like me. But like with any relationship we at first work hard for, the in-law one is one we can start to take for granted, and even resent. Once your in-laws thoroughly approve of you and even welcome you into the family, you stop worrying so much about pleasing them and start paying more attention to the displeasing things they do to you. Here are in-law struggles every couple has.

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Tending to your partner’s health

This will likely be an issue you argue with your partner’s mother about, but it can be hard for your partner’s parents to hand his health over to you. You’ll both have your own opinions on which doctor he should see, which medications he should take, what he should eat, which procedures he should undergo and so on. This topic can become incredibly hot when a surgery comes up.

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Child-rearing perspectives

It’s common for your in-laws to feel that you are judging or even rejecting their child-rearing techniques, simply because you don’t choose to use the same ones. Similarly, you can feel like they’re criticizing yours if they try to suggest others.

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Ideas about money-management

The in-laws just want you and your partner (and your children) to have stable, comfortable lives. But sometimes, it can feel like they’re suggesting that you’re bad at managing money, by how much unsolicited advice they give you on how to manage your money.

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When they try to get you on their side

When the in-laws are having a dispute with your hubby, they may try to get you on their side of the matter. This is a tricky place to be, especially when you agree with them, but want to show a united front with your partner.

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Or they try to get your partner on their side

Then there are some terrible times when you’re the one feuding with the in-laws on something your partner isn’t involved in, and they try to get him on their side.

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Gifts that come with favors

Sure, they give you their old vehicle but that also means they ask you to give them rides more often, or you feel obligated to say yes to their brunch invitations. You don’t love it when they give you major gifts that you didn’t ask for, because you feel like you’ll pay for it in some way.

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To vacation with the in-laws or not

There may be some trips you don’t might bringing the in-laws on, but you and your partner may not see eye-to-eye on taking them along for your one-week trip to Hawaii.

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Who is hosting the holiday meal?

You’re trying to be helpful by inviting everyone to your house for the holiday meal, but you get a call from your mother-in-law, who isn’t quite happy that you didn’t first consult her before sending out that email. Maybe she wanted to host it.

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Unsolicited marital advice

It’s always too close for comfort when the in-laws try to give you advice on how to keep your partner interested or how to handle marital disputes. That’s sacred territory.

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Questionable gifts to the grandkids

Grandparents get enthusiastic and just want to spoil their grandkids. And while it’s great that they adore your babies so much, it’s not so great when they give them gifts you don’t deem appropriate, without even consulting you.

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Home décor critique

Whether it’s loud and clear criticism, or a major gift like a couch or curtains for the whole house, they may try to get their say in how your home looks. And you may feel like, if they don’t like the way your home looks, they can stay at their house.

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Home cleanliness critique

When your in-laws send their cleaning service over “as a gift” is it really a gift or their way of saying that you don’t provide a home that is up to their standards for their son and grandchildren?

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Insisting you use their professional

For some reason, in-laws can be very intent on you using their handyman, cleaning service, accountant, contractor, landscaper and more. They take it as a personal offense if you go another route.

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To borrow money from them or not

Your partner might be totally ready to ask his parents for money but you aren’t because you know they think that will buy them more input in your lives. Of course, if you go to a bank or someone else, the in-laws are insulted.

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Battling in-laws

Let’s not forget that your parents want a say in your life, too! So then you have your partner’s parents and your parents battling it out, trying to make sure they are heard and seen and represented in your home.

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