How To Deal With A Difficult Father In Law: Dealing With Conflicts About Your In- Laws

Sure, your spouse's parents aren't monsters-in-law, but they could give the current titleholders a run for their money. Nevertheless, these are the parents of the person you've married and for that reason alone, you owe it to your spouse and your children - or future offspring - to do your best to get along with them.

Spend as Much Time with Them as You Can

It's not possible to get along with them if you don't spend time with them. Clear up your schedule every time an opportunity to spend time with your in-laws comes up. What's a little sacrifice now and then if it means having a happily-ever-after for everyone concerned?

Withhold Judgment

It's easy to form an opinion at the very first day you've met your in-laws or the first time you've visited or come to live with them. What's difficult is to deliberately not form an opinion and try to withhold your judgment even though you've seen or heard a couple of things you don't exactly like or approve of.

Better yet, try to withhold judgment as much as possible. It's not your place to judge and in the event that they do something to directly hurt you, do your best to reach an amicable resolution for the situation.

Have Realistic Expectations

You've won Miss Congeniality from high school to your current workplace, but your in-laws are colder than ice toward you. That's disappointing, yes, but not really surprising. Firstly, you can't expect them to love you right away just because their son or daughter said you're the most wonderful person in the world. You have to give them time to get to know you, to accept and appreciate you, and to adjust to the fact that they really do have an in-law to share their child with.

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Don't Try Too Hard

Some couples are extremely lucky. They get along with their respective in-laws right away like a house on fire. But for the rest of us, such relationships require time to build and develop. That's normal so don't feel bad about yourself if your in-laws don't shower you with hugs and kisses immediately.

The worst thing you can do is to be aggressive and push yourself towards them all the time. That could easily backfire and instead of feeling warm toward you, your in-laws are more likely to feel awkward and irritable.

Take things one step at a time. Think of in-laws as simply persons you'd like to get to know and maybe be friends with. Don't pressure yourself by worrying about what they think of you and how they rate you as a spouse for their child.

Start with a simple exchange of smiles and hellos. It's okay to start a conversation or two but it's also okay to allow companionable silence to reign.


Now that you're married, your spouse's parents are your parents as well and vice versa. Treat them the way you'd like your spouse to treat your parents. Try to love them as you love your parents.

Think about it. You give in to your parents' demands even if you disagree with it because you love them. You take their advice because you know they mean well, never mind if you end up deaf with their endless nagging. Be the same with your in-laws. Marriage is for life: just as you've sworn to love your spouse through thick and thin, your in-laws are also here to stay for better or for worse.

In-laws aren't the kind of problem that will go away over time. They won't...well, not unless they die but surely you don't hate them that much. So the only thing left to do is to find a way to get along with them or even be friends for them. And for that, you need to learn how to compromise.

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Let Them Know When They've Overstepped the Line

While it's critical to give in as much as you can afford to, it's just as important to earn their respect by standing up for yourself. Don't let them mistreat you unreasonably. If they are unnecessarily harsh or if they meddle too much, make them aware of their mistakes. Just be sure that you do so tactfully and respectfully.

Try as well to keep an open mind when speaking to them. Listen to their side. Misunderstandings could have occurred and caused them to act in such a way.

Don't Bring In-Laws into a Fight

Any arguments between you and your spouse must stay between you two and the same rule applies for any conflicts you may have with your in-laws. If you allow such issues to overlap then it's more likely both of you will lose perspective and turn a small problem into something bigger than it should have been.

Don't Badmouth Your In-laws

It's understandable that you want to ease your hurt by telling your family or close friends about your problems with the in-laws. It won't help anyone, however, if you badmouth your in-laws. If you need someone to speak to about your problems, talk to your spouse or a counselor as they're the ones most capable of helping you.

Teach by Example

Don't forget to look inwards before you start complaining about your in-laws again. You keep on saying that they never give you a chance to make them like you, but have you also given them a chance to get to know you?

It's all about give and take. You need to teach them by example instead of just nagging your spouse about it or giving your in-laws the cold shoulder.

Do You Have the Support of Your Spouse?

Of course, none of these tips would apply if you don't have the support of your spouse. It's understandable that your spouse maintains a sense of loyalty to his or her parents but your spouse must also understand his or her responsibility towards you. If you don't have the support of your spouse then there's no way you can enjoy a healthy marriage when you've interfering in-laws at your back.

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A lot of people say to themselves I'm desperate to save my marriage but I don't know what to do. First of all, desperation is not going to help make your marriage better. As a matter of fact, desperation may cause you to do some things that will make your situation worse.

When your marriage is in trouble it may be hard to have it because you and your spouse are always arguing and fighting. There are some things you should known when you and your spouse begin arguing.

The fist thing you need to remember during an argument is to remain positive. However, begin positive doesn't mean you should be too optimistic about the future of your marriage.

You should just try to remain positive about the situation you're currently going through and understand that the situation can be resolved. Another thing you should keep in mind when getting into these arguments with you spouse is to stop the name calling.

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Saying negative things to your spouse in a negative state of mind. Moreover, a lot of resentment will build up over time if you keep participating in putting negative labels on your spouse. This resentment can become a huge road block that prevents you from getting through to your spouse and saving your marriage.

Along with not participating in name calling you should avoid bringing up things from the past. Leave what's in the past in the past where it belongs. Bringing up past mistakes will let your spouse know you haven't forgiven them and will just add to the resentment build up.

Finally, you should think about the times when you and your spouse argue the most. Think about what leads up to these arguments and make your fights escalate. Once you have really thought about this, you should change what it is that leads up to these altercations.

It's been proven that your spouse will react accordingly to what you do. This is because the things you do directly affects how your spouse reacts to a situation. So change up some of the things you're doing in the relationship and your spouse's reaction will change up as well.

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In the last few decades, public organizations and employers have made a concerted effort to promote tolerance and respect for Diversity among the races and ethnic groups comprising the social fabric of this country. Discrimination on the basis of racial, ethnic origins, gender and religious beliefs has been outlawed. The effort has largely been successful; race and ethnic riots are a thing of the past. In our public life, we have learned to tolerate and even appreciate the differences between diverse segments of our society. If I may say so, we have achieved an A grade in Diversity 101- Diversity in Public Life.

Perhaps it is now time to consider Diversity 102- Diversity in Private Life. In this we have not received any formal training. The only lessons we have received are through trial and error and the only school we have attended is the school of hard knocks. This is in-spite of the fact that there are multiple forms of differences we have to deal with in our private lives. These are not differences of race, but differences of perspective, priorities and understanding, and there is no schooling or training to prepare us for these.

Firstly, there is the difference between men and women. Initially, the physical difference leads to attraction, as the French say "Viva La Difference" or long live the difference. However, the difference in perspectives means that the attraction soon turns to distraction, as evidenced by the fact that over 50% of marriages end in divorce, in most cases very traumatic for both partners, not to mention their children. When couples apply for a marriage license, why should they not be required to study and pass a marriage manual? After all, when we get a Driving License, we have to read a Manual and pass a test.

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It is ironic that before most marriages, months of planning go into arranging various ceremonies like the engagement, the bridal shower and the wedding, each of which lasts just a few hours, whereas little attention is paid to preparing for the marriage relationship, which is (hopefully) for a lifetime. Just imagine two companies implementing a merger and celebrating it with huge parties but without any planning for the restructuring of their finances, administration or manpower. Their merger would be doomed to failure. Yet that is how most marriages are implemented. As a result, the success rate for weddings is 100%, while the success rate for marriages is not even 50%.

Secondly, there is a tremendous gulf between parents and children. This is natural, but that does not mean that we should be unprepared for it. A child's personality and perspective differs immensely from that of an adult's. The difference is further increased by the generational changes in lifestyle that occur over 2 to 3 decades. However, once again, there is no formal education or training that is imparted for managing this relationship. In particular, there is tremendous conflict between teenagers and their parents, who often shake their heads or shrug philosophically and make wry remarks about their children passing through a "teenage" phase. This conflict and turbulence is also accepted as a necessary evil, something that is natural and a part of life. While that may be so, there is no reason why it cannot be mitigated by proper training and education.

We tend to believe that love and regard for those living closest to us, i.e. physical proximity, will automatically lead to emotional and mental closeness and harmonious relationships but reality does not bear this out. (Maybe the reverse is true, as they say, familiarity breeds contempt). In conclusion, it is high time that we educate and train ourselves for our personal relationships or institute Diversity 102-Diversity in Private Life, instead of leaving it up to nature. Perhaps Diversity, like charity, begins at home.

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What men want is a woman who is sure about herself. This is related to a previous point about being more complete as an individual, instead of picturing yourself as someone who is a half and needing someone to complete you. Women tend to be swayed by the opinions of their girlfriends. This can be dangerous post-marriage. Here's how to tell if you're being too stubborn and not listening to sound advice, or if you're being too gullible.

I've heard of situations where marriages have been broken up by something far worse than friends gossiping and that's family gossiping, all simply because the sisters of the husband didn't like the wife. It's terrible when it does happen, but having that constant buzz around you isn't healthy for a relationship. You always have to marry for your own reasons, not someone else's and it does take courage to do that.

If you know your man is honest, don't let your girlfriends or anyone else try to tear him down. Remember the earlier point about compromise? No one is ever going to be perfect, but if you continue setting high standards, that's going to be damaging in a long-term relationship.

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Assertive women are also just more attractive in general. Here are three traits that all assertive women share that men secretly find attractive (I say secretly because all men can't help but be magnetized to them, but aren't aware of it):

1. emotional control: this is definitely one of the pluses about being an assertive woman. Some women who aren't directly clingy are indirectly clingy, which is a lot worse. That means that they are so reliant on the man for defining who they are that the man is afraid to say anything that might upset her, which will a semblance of peace, when really it's uncomfortable for the man.

2. internal validation: assertive women are defined from the inside and they hold values that they uphold, regardless of who they associate with. They don't need people to validate them.

3. strong: these sort of women are generally stronger mentally as well. They are able to handle more stress, meaning that the man doesn't have to provide as much support, meaning that the man isn't as needed, meaning that he feels more attracted to her.

If you are serious about your marriage, you will look after your husband with all your might. Your girlfriends are there to listen to you, but if they're trying to inflict any damage out of spite, be aware of it. Your man can simply ignore it, but if you let it eat away at you, it won't do your marriage any good. Remember, you can only control your response. Control it for the better, not worse.

Now Listen Carefully-

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Divorce does not have to be your only option. Even if it feels as though your relationship can't be saved because of the ongoing conflicts between you and your spouse, it can be. There are techniques that you can begin using today that will not only stop a divorce, but will help also you build a stronger and more loving marriage.

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