In-laws. Love ’em or loathe ’em – they’re yours.
Got troublesome in-laws? Simple. Don’t have anything to do with them. Sorted. Unfortunately it’s not that easy. Your partner’s parents are part of your life whether you – or them – like it or not. The key is to get on. Make that a goal.
The big trouble spot is Mother In Laws – so their son’s partner – they tend to think their son’s are the bees knees and will often think you’re not up to the grade for her son.
Men tend to do the hierarchy thing and that seems to work. Add in car, sport and beer chat – you’ve got a winner. Males tend to be a bit more accepting with both genders. Go figure 🙂
Sadly the phenomenon of the MILFH is a real thing. Mother In Law From Hell. You hear some horror stories! There’s even an official FB page and website to anonymously vent. motherinlawhell.com
No one can do pursed lips and judgey pants better than a Mother In Law!
Here are 5 fresh life hacks to help you cope:
– Treat your in laws with both respect AND caution. Don’t overthink things. When they go low, go high, be kind. They might not be your bestie but then you don’t want enemies either. Don’t ice them.
– Be an active listener. Pipe down and just nod and smile. Life experience is fun to just listen to sometimes. Put the phone away too. They don’t let it rule their lives as much as our generation and our kids do.
– Create rituals with them. Older people like routines and special moments. Make an effort. Take lots of pictures of them. Get the kids to write them letters.
– Don’t complain to your partner about his or her parents, they are who brought him into the world. Definitely communicate any issue but don’t get into bagging them. Do tell said in-law what is making you unhappy, if you feel judged, just say it makes you uncomfortable.
– Win them over with food! Bake something delicious. Food made and given with love will win over the grumpiest person. Sometimes somewhere neutral is good rather than going to each other’s personal spaces – meet at a park or cafe
Oh and remember the 3 day rule – just like meat, family dynamics go off after 3 days, so make any visits a maximum of a couple of nights.
Or ideally have in-laws in another country! LOL
Bonuses of getting on with the in-laws – free babysitter! And you get insights into what your partner is going to look and act like in 30 years time! Scary…
Mainly, be grateful, some people don’t have parents.