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When In-Laws Drive You To Divorce


It’s a tale as old as time. Wives deal with their husbands’ mothers and their unsolicited advice and rude comments. Husbands often have to handle bullying and aggressiveness from their wives’ fathers.

Those who actually like their in-laws seem to be in the minority. Many people can’t stand their in-laws and while their remarks and antics may cause you to run for the hills, avoid them altogether, and even seek a divorce, you don’t have to go that far. Your best bet is to set boundaries.

Researchers studied 373 couples who married in 1986. They collected data about  their relationships with their in-laws and whether or not the couples stayed together.  Surprisingly, they found that when the wife had a close relationship with her in-laws, the marriage had a 20 percent higher risk of divorce. When it came to the husband, though, when he was close to his in-laws, the marriage had a 20 percent lower chance of divorce.

Why is there such a discrepancy? It all has to do with how each gender perceives relationships. Wives love to see their husbands bonding with their families. This doesn’t work the same when a wife tries to spend more time with her husband’s family. Boundaries get blurred and it leads to interference or meddling.

Setting Boundaries

To prevent wars, bitterness, and resentment, you need to set boundaries with your in-laws right away. If you don’t like any of their behaviors, don’t allow it. This includes surprise visits, unsolicited advice, badmouthing, child rearing advice, and how you plan to celebrate holidays. While you can’t stop in-laws from doing what they want, you can refuse to go along with them and reinforce their behavior.

How to Keep Your Marriage Intact

To keep the peace in your marriage, you need to know how to handle your in-laws and keep them from ruining the relationship you and your spouse have. Here are some tips to help.

  • Make your spouse your priority. You may not like his or her parents, but that shouldn’t affect your marriage. Protect it at all costs.
  • Act as a team. You and your spouse need to be on the same page when it comes to how you will handle your in-laws’ behavior. You both need to present a united front.
  • Keep an open mind. Don’t automatically defend your parents. Let your spouse discuss their grievances with your family and keep an open mind.
  • Decide on a holiday schedule. Don’t just wing it. Discuss how you and your spouse will celebrate holidays and other special occasions as a couple.
  • Don’t force things. If your spouse doesn’t want to visit your parents, don’t make them. You can visit them alone. Stop trying to force the relationship. 

Seek Legal Help

People do not always get along with their spouse’s family. Sometimes mothers-in-law can become monsters-in-law. Fathers-in-law are known to bully their daughters’ husbands.

These relationship issues can threaten a marriage and even lead to divorce. Fort Lauderdale divorce attorney Edward J. Jennings, P.A. can help you divorce with ease. To schedule a consultation, call 954-764-4330 or fill out the online form.



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