How To Deal With Interfering In Laws: Mother In Law Treats Me Like An Outsider

It has been said that when you marry someone that you also marry their family. What you may not have realized is how often you and your spouse would have disagreements about them. In fact, in-law issues are among the most common causes of conflicts in a marriage relationship.

How do you peacefully resolve in-law issues? There are no easy answers, but some clues can be found in the word "I.N.-L.A.W.S.":

I: Integrating Families

It takes a lot of work and compromise to integrate your customs and holidays with your in-laws. The ideal situation is when you are able to combine the best of both families.

N: No Excuse For Being Rude

You do not have to be best friends with your in-laws, but be polite. Being polite does not mean that you let them "walk all over you". You can still set boundaries, be firm about what you want, and make decisions about what is best for your family.

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L: Loyalty

Sometimes, it may be your parents that are causing the problems. Remember that your first loyalty is to your spouse. You need to be the one to deal with your parents with they are the problem.

A: Annoying Versus Interfering

Discern what things are just annoying versus those things that truly interfere with your marriage. You need to ignore the annoying things, but deal with interference.

W: Walking in Forgiveness

If you hold on to anger and hurt, then you are the one suffering. Unforgiveness will rob you of peace both internally and in your marriage.

S: Sensitivity

Be careful about how you talk to your spouse about problems with his/her parents. Remember that this is his/her family that you are talking about. If you attack them, your mate will probably feel that he/she needs to defend them. This may be true even if your partner agrees with you.

Until Death Do Us (In-Laws) Part

Your in-laws are here to stay. Therefore, learning to effectively deal with them will make your marriage run a lot smoother.

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If I were to tell you how many couples are divorcing after not getting the proper help in fixing their marriage problems you would probably faint. In fact, when many folks understand how serious a matter divorce is becoming in this day and age we live in, their eyes open wide and they become speechless.

I don't even want to share how bad it's becoming or get into specifics because it may sway your thinking and have you start panicking and giving up hope for fixing your marriage. If you are looking for help in resolving your marriage problems, the last thing you need to hear about is how many couples don't make it.

Avoiding The Wrong Help In Fixing Marriage Problems

One of the things you want to do is avoid getting help from folks who really can't help you in fixing your marriage problems. There are many folks who want to give you advice but they either give you bad advice because they don't know any better or because they don't care about you. Advice sometimes comes with a hidden agenda.

Obviously, getting advice from a person who has shown some affection towards you is a bad idea. This person may be pulling for your marriage to end so he or she can finally take your relationship to the next level. Listen carefully when taken advice from friends of the opposite sex. If you here words such as "well, you weren't happy anyway" or "I don't think you two were right for each other" be careful on following their advice.

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Also, parents who never quite liked your spouse should probably refrain from advising you. Mom might not want you to get divorced but her heart wouldn't be broken if you did. Again, I would suggest you judge the relationship before using the advice offered.

Getting The Right Help In Fixing Marriage Problems

So who should you listen to in order to get some help in repairing your marriage? The first person should be your self. Follow your instincts and then use other persons or resources to confirm that the steps you plan to take make sense.

The other folks you should listen to are those close to you who have no hidden agenda and want what's best for you and your spouse and family.

Last but not least or of any less importance is getting help from someone whose mission and passion in life is helping couples change a bad marriage to a good one and transform a good marriage into a great one.

The help could come from a marriage counselor or trained Spiritual Advisor. Now, I know most couples are afraid or embarrassed to reach out for help. It's understandable but risky not getting help in fixing marriage problems.

If you have a good resource you can confide in and trust to give you tips and strategies for overcoming your marriage problems, please contact them to get the help in marriage you need.

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No one gets married expecting to get divorced. Why bother in the first place? We are filled with hope when we say "I Do" to that other person. But the cold reality is that, the divorce rate in America is ridiculously high and is rising every day. Many people think they have to watch out for the infamous seven-year itch that comes about after seven years of marriage. Today, couples need to watch out for the two-year itch. Dissatisfaction in marriages happens earlier and earlier as people become more disillusioned with their dreams when they don't become reality as quickly as they think it should. And now, a divorce is easier to get than a driver's license.

Think it's a travesty? Maybe it is. But it's reality. So why do marriages fail? While the answers to that question are many, there is a growing body of research to suggest there are four negative risk factors that create barriers to oneness in marriage and increase a couple's chances for marital failure.

The First

This negative behavior patterns can have a hugely negative impact on a marriage. This occurs when partners respond negatively to each other continually upping the ante so the conversation gets more and more hostile.

When a conversation escalates into an argument, this creates tension that can eat away at a marriage. Each negative comment increases the level of anger and frustration, and soon a small disagreement blows up into a major fight.

Frequently there are threats to end the relationship. Over time those angry words damage oneness, and angry threats to leave begin to seem like prophecy. Once negative comments are made, they are hard to take back and drive a knife into the partner's heart.

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The second

The next negative factor that contributes to the erosion of marriage is invalidation. Invalidation is a pattern in which one partner subtly or directly puts down the thoughts, feelings, or character of the other.

Invalidation can take many forms. Sometimes it can be caustic, in which one partner (or both) attacks the other person verbally. You can hear, and even feel, the contempt one partner has for another.

Sarcastic phrases like "Well, I'm sorry I'm not perfect like you" or "I forgot how lucky I am to be married to you" can cut like a knife. These are attacks on the person's character and personality that easily destroy a marriage. Research has found that invalidation is one of the best predictors of future problems and failure of a marriage.

Negative interpretations

These are the third risk factor toward a failing marriage. Negative interpretations occur when one partner consistently believes that the motives of the other are more negative than is really the case.

Such behavior can be a very destructive pattern in a relationship, and quickly erode intimacy and oneness in a marriage. A wife may believe that her husband does not like her parents. As a result, she may attack him anytime he is not overly enthusiastic about visiting them. He may be concerned with the financial cost of going home for Christmas or about whether he has enough vacation time. She, in turn, considers his behavior as disliking her parents.

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When a relationship becomes more distressed, the negative interpretations mount and help create an environment of hopelessness. The attacked partner gives up trying to make himself or herself clear and becomes demoralized.

Finally, there is withdrawal and avoidance.

These are two different manifestations of the problem wherein a partner is unwilling to get in or stay in a discussion that is too threatening.

Withdrawal can be as obvious as getting up and leaving the room or as subtle as 'turning off' or 'shutting down' during an argument. The withdrawer often tends to get quiet during an argument, look away, or agree quickly to a partner's suggestion just to end the conversation, with no real intention of following through. Avoidance reflects the same reluctance to get into certain discussions, with more emphasis on the attempt to not let the conversation happen in the first place. A person prone to avoidance would prefer that the topic not come up and, if it does, may manifest the signs of withdrawal just described.

The research shows that couples that want a good marriage need to eliminate these risk factors from their marriage, or else the negative factors will overwhelm the positive aspects of the marriage. It is never too late to put your marriage back on track.

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