I Hate My Husband's Family: I Hate My Mother In Law - What You Should Do!

If you are having a tough time with your mother-in-law, I've been there and I know how painful it is! At the beginning of our marriage my in-laws openly and covertly criticized me. The conflict reached blow-out proportions on occasion. Marriage and raising children are challenging enough without conflict with our in-laws. I wouldn't wish in-law troubles on anyone. Fortunately, I found a better way that I am going to share with you.

So what was the key to transforming my relationship with my in-laws? I had the fortune to take a course from a woman, Suzanne Raja of Warrior Sage. She shared her story of going from in-laws who were dead-set against her, to being the adored daughter-in-law. Even better, Suzanne didn't sacrifice her values or do anything she didn't want to do in order to win them over. I vowed to follow her approach, and the results have been so wonderful!

Just to assure you that our conflict was real, I'll describe a few of the challenges we faced during the first few years of our marriage. One memorable blow-out occurred while we were visiting them at Christmas. My husband Rob and I were lying in bed when we heard his mom and dad loudly criticizing my sister-in-law and I because 4 dishes were left in the sink after we'd had ice cream! Rob got up and blew up at them for singling out his wife and sister-in-law. (We never can tell if the dishes were clean or dirty in their dishwasher, which is why all four of us had left them in the sink in the first place!) It was an awful confirmation for my sister-in-law and myself that they were harsh and damning in their criticism of us.

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After the birth of our first child, things got worse. I was struggling with a colicky baby and the transition into parenting. I felt that I couldn't measure up to their expectations, and I resented them for not seeing me for who I am. My husband was great about taking my side, but it was not fun for any of us, and I envisioned decades of misery with them.

We soon had another memorable blow-out when we set a boundary around their visits. Given how criticized I felt by them and their unrealistically high standards, I was not okay with them calling and announcing that they were coming down the next day for a multiple day visit! This happened often, until Rob put his foot down. It was a very unpleasant experience; they immediately packed up and stormed out of our house, vowing to never return.

I hated being in a battle with my husband's parents. So I was receptive when the solution was presented to me. Rob and I were at a great course called Sex, Passion and Enlightenment. The woman, Suzanne Raja, shared how when she first met her husband's family, they were dead set against her. Her parents are Jamaican and his parents are East Indian. They were not okay with their son choosing a woman from another race.

Suzanne's reaction was brilliant. She choose not to stay stuck in their rejection of her, which clearly was not personal; they would have rejected any other woman of her race. Instead, she set an intention that she would win them over, and she did. Suzanne could have chosen to be right about how ignorant her in-laws were being, but instead she choose a path that brought her in-laws out of the ignorant place they were in, and created peace for generations to come.

As I listened to her, seven or eight years into our marriage, I was struck by the beauty and brilliance of her decision. I could see clearly the two paths diverging in the woods, and I wanted off the well-trodden one. I could see that my in-laws' rejection of me was a type of culture shock; our families were polar opposite in most ways. My in-laws weren't actually seeing me, much as Suzanne's in-laws hadn't seen past the color of her skin.

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Once I was able to make this simple but profound shift in perspective, my actions changed. In another article I talk about the importance of beginning with your vision for your family. Our vision for our family is a powerful tool for creating the family you want. Once I had the vision of me slowly winning his parents over, our conflict began to fade. Over the next few years, without me even being that aware of when it happened, his parents ceased to be the enemy and we began to genuinely love each other. As my attitude changed, so did theirs.

Now it is hard for me to remember fighting with my in-laws. I adore them now, and I know they adore me. I enjoy their visits and don't feel that my house has to be perfect and the kids angels in order to meet their approval. I don't feel judged, and I am not the harsh critic of them that I was. I appreciate them for bringing my husband into the world and doing the best that they knew how with him. We still have profound differences in how we choose to lead our lives, but I am able to love them anyways, and they me.

What a gift for myself, my husband and kids! I grew up well-aware of my parents' issues with in-laws. It hurt because those in-laws were my biological relatives so I felt involved in the conflict somehow. That was one of the reasons I hated being in so much conflict with my in-laws. Ironically the pattern was everywhere; my mother-in-law and hers had issues too! I was tired of the conflict that robbed us of the joy of family times, and I am so grateful that it is long done!

At first I confess I was in a negative enough space that my motivation was partly arrogance. I felt that the fact I was smart enough to take the upper hand and fix this bad situation proved my superiority. I'm glad that I evolved past that arrogance. However, even though I wish I could have been more purely altruistic, the most important thing is I changed my focus. Eventually that helped me get into a more altruistic place.

So thank you Suzanne and Satyen Raja for your amazing course, and for sharing this gold nugget of wisdom! You changed a negative pattern that had existed in both of our families for generations. You helped me to be a better person, mom, wife, and daughter-in-law while also making me so much happier. I love my in-laws now and feel truly blessed to have them in my life.

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Ideally, marriage is supposed to last for years, even decades. Anything that goes on for that long is bound to hit a few rough spots, some valleys between the peaks. But that doesn't mean you can't make an effort to keep things upbeat and happy.

Here are five things that turn a man on after marriage. Try these and see if things don't brighten almost immediately.

1) Stay connected with him.

If he's working and you're a stay-at-home mom, or if you're both working, you're going to have many hours each day when you're not only apart from each other, but doing very different things.

Don't let this keep you apart more than it needs to. Send e-mails or text messages during the day, or make phone calls if possible. Make sure when you see each other at the end of the day that you ask how his day was and genuinely listen to his answers.

Schedule at least one night a week as an official "date night," when you get rid of the kids and spend an evening alone -- home watching a movie, or out to dinner, or something else enjoyable and relaxing.

All of this lets your husband know that all the hassles and pressures of daily life haven't made you forget about him. And you'll see he hasn't forgotten about you, either.

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2) Surprise him.

Variety is the spice of life, right? Every now and then, do something he'll like that he knows is against your usual patterns. If he's always hinting that he wishes you'd have dinner waiting for him when he gets home -- but it's not feasible because you both work the same schedule -- then get off early sometime and surprise him with dinner.

If he loves bowling but you hate it, then why not suggest it one night? He'll be touched that you made the effort for him, and you can still have a good time being with him, even if the activity isn't your cup of tea.

3) Keep the passion alive.

Everyone jokes about how marriage is the cure for sex, and there's good reason. Within a few months, the passion usually dies down and couples fall into a rut: the same old sex in the same old positions at the same old times.

Unfortunately, the husband's sex drive usually stays the same as it ever was; it's the wife's that diminishes.

Never "force" yourself to be intimate with your husband, but do what you can to keep the mood alive. Scented candles or lingerie can work wonders -- men really are very easy to please -- and can keep that spice alive even if the sex isn't quite as frequent as it used to be.

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4) Be positive.

Nagging is most men's NUMBER ONE complaint about their wives.

Don't become a stereotypical wife who complains constantly to her husband. All people, men and women, respond much better to positive reinforcement.

When something is amiss, bring it up in a way that suggests calmness, rationality, and analysis. Don't say, "We need more money."

Say, "What can we do to stretch our budget a bit further?" When there's something that doesn't have a positive angle -- like a leak in the roof or a furnace that's on the fritz -- tell him the news in as sympathetic a way as possible.

You're in this together, remember.

So saying, "That cheap furnace you bought has quit working" isn't going to be productive. Even if it was a bad purchase, and you did tell him so, there's no sense bringing it up now.

5) Laugh.

This can't be overstated. Laughter is the key to happiness in marriage. If you're laughing at each other, it means you're able to affectionately tease and play together.

If you're laughing together at something else, it means you share a common sense of humor. It's a bonding experience.

Of course, men and women often laugh at different things. The lowbrow movies he guffaws at might leave you cold, while he despises the "chick flick" romantic comedies.

You know where you can find common ground? TV. TV comedies are usually neither lowbrow nor romantic, but more mainstream and middle-of-the-road.

They're meant to appeal to everyone, and the good ones do. Try to find something you can watch regularly together that makes you both laugh. And don't forget live theater, too. Not only can you find a funny play to enjoy in your community, but it's an evening out of the house, too.

Husbands and wives can drift apart over time without even realizing it's happening. Communication and compassion are vital.

Let him know you love him as often as possible and always look on the positive side of things. Make home a happy place for the two of you, a refuge from the world.

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Author's Bio: 

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