“When I caught my mother in law peeping to see what we do in the bedroom with my husband and how we do it, I locked her in with her son who had failed to put an end to her control issues. I had just about had enough.” said Sheila.
She did not only have an over bearing mother in law but the sisters and brothers in law too. These monster in laws made her life un- bearable from interfering on how she parents, cooks, dresses and worse visited and for some reason didn’t leave.
She had to kneel for her sisters/brothers in law who were both younger and age mates and sadly her husband would tell her to endure because they would go soon, they however stayed for six months, months that felt like years.
She talked to a friend about her situation, who advised her to go away for a while, when the maid left to take care of her sick mother in the village, she faked a project upcountry and left them alone in the house. After doing the chores for three days they got tired pushed her husband to bring her back which of cos he couldn’t.
They left days later, the house is big and the chores require two maids, that’s how she survived them.” Pete from a poor family madly in love only married Sheridan after she threatened her dad with suicide if he stopped their wedding. His(Pete) woes didn’t stop there though, he (dad)took every chance he had to belittle Pete even in front of his kids, its only after he worked hard and made more money than her father that he earned his respect.
Sheridan had openly told Pete her dad is a bully but he loves her very much and she loves them both(dad & husband) so she wasn’t going to take sides or interfere and he had to earn her father’s respect, which he later did. Now they play golf every last Saturday of the month.
So how do you handle these monster in laws? For starters, for your own growth, its best you look into what they are saying against you. They could be right but rude, maybe its really true you can’t cook, you not clean person, you dress inappropriately, you use too much make up , not a responsible parent and the whole nine yards. If you check that you are aware but okay with those weaknesses then be dismissive but if not aware it can be an opportunity for you to change for the better.
Set your family values, Boundaries and Limits, Communicate them to your in laws and enforce them. All of your values should be laid out to your in laws and you ought to stick to your guns where need be. For example, if you don’t want drop-in visits, tell your in-laws that you’d prefer that they call before they show up at your doorstep. If they ignore you, don’t answer the door the next time they just happen to drop-by or at least not immediately, let them stay out long enough to realise you were actually serious. In laws that constantly borrow but never pay back, set limits on that too, in laws that criticise your spouse in front of your children… limits should be set this is downright disrespectful.
Tell your spouse to stand up for you. They (Your spouse) may believe they are not party to the monster in laws’ bothersome behaviours (constant ridicule and disrespect) but if they are not speaking up, they aren’t helping the situation but are silently fuelling it.
When your in-laws push your buttons, tell your spouse to push back a bit, saidGreg Cason, a Los Angeles-based psychologist. They know their family members better than you do; hopefully, they know how to get through to them. This also shows them that your relationship is actually solid.
However, this shouldn’t be enough, you need to forge a relationship with your in laws and a good one at that on your own without your spouse. Into the bargain, remember; You can criticise your own parents, but not each other’s! . “When my husband and I stopped ragging on each other’s parents, our own relationship improved,” says Olivia, still married to the same man fifty years later.
Seek their advice, praise them for anything good they do without being to too much (Fake). Make no mistake of standing down when it’s required but for the sake of peace compliment them when you see something good.Look around and find a problem in your home that you could ask your in-law for advice on — a cooking, interior design or investing question for instance. Try out their advice and report back about how helpful that advice was. Give lots of details.
Your in-law will start liking you more because he or she feels respected. As a result, your in-law is less likely to invade your space. Compliment them whenever you see them do or wear something nice this shows there is no animosity between you and is a first step to then being considerate and empathetic when addressing you.
Ignore them, many times, the best thing to do is nothing. Time heals many wounds — and many times silence saves the day. Spare your in-laws the insults and character attacks but if your passive-but-polite approaches fail to get the point across, If ignoring them doesn’t work, there’s only one more thing left: Be direct. Tell them that you appreciate their concern, but that you and your partner will handle things yourselves going forward,” Tell them that when you want their advice, you will certainly ask for it and its best to do it in front of your spouse to avoid exaggerations with reported speech. Whereas this may not be common with our culture here, it works and its best to speak or forever hold your peace.
Know yourself and be you, Shakespeare said it a zillion years ago, and the advice still holds today: Don’t try to remake yourself into the person your in-laws want. For example, what if they’re looking for little Sophie Homemaker, stay home mum and you’re a high-powered corporate attorney/ business woman? Are you going to change in an instant just to please them? You’re under no obligation to change, you can adjust a bit for their sake but do not change who you are because it never turns out well. If your husband chose and loved you the way you are, mother in law can easily adjust.
In laws can be exasperating but knowing how to handle them will save you the headache. Marriage is already hard with just the two of you, you definitely do not need the added stress.