My In Laws Are Ruining My Marriage: When In Laws Affect Your Marriage

Struggles with the in-laws is a common frustration for many. I have known couples that have split up due to issues with their in-laws. Relating to in-laws can be difficult, but it's important to remember that our children are watching how we handle ourselves. Being a healthy parent means learning to love those who are different from ourselves. If parents can break through the struggles in relating to their in-laws, then it sets their children up for some very important traits. Some of these traits are flexibility, understanding another's perspective, and problem solving. The potential payoffs are big!

It is important to remember that you picked your spouse in part based on traits that you wished you had. Don't worry, this is a completely normal thing to do. Simply put, people tend to choose mates with different strengths and skill sets than their own. This is called the law of complementarity. Finding a complimentary mate seems like a really good idea, until we meet the family that formed that complimentary mate! They are so different!

In my experience, most couples are formed out of opposing family systems. One family system is called a closed system. In closed family systems, there is a lot of openness toward members within the family, but the system is closed off to those outside of the family. In an open family system, the members are more distant from one another, but more open to those outside of the system. This is important for one main reason; many times individuals marry the opposite family structure, but expect it to function like the one they were raised within. This is where problems with the in-laws comes in.

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"Marriage is a battlefield for each spouse's family of origin." This was a quote from an instructor that I could not seem to get out of my head. It rang so true when I heard it. The more I have reflected on that in my own life the more I believe it. Most spouses want their family to function much like their family of origin. The problem is that the in-laws can see that! It's safe to say that in-laws are lobbying for their structure of family to be recreated as well. All of a sudden we are at odds! Understanding these reasons for the familial differences is the first step to a better relationship with the in-laws.

There are some practical ideas that I have found to relieve the tension and to create a loving relationship. First and foremost, have kids. Just kidding, but it does seem to have a positive effect! In all seriousness, one thing that can help is to point out the differences. When there's an elephant in the room say so. In some families these differences can be the source of a lot of fun. The key is that once the elephant is out in the open it makes it easier to enjoy and learn from those differences. When I go over to my spouse's house it is like stepping into a different culture. Our families are complete opposite from one another. My family was nice and peaceful, hers was loud and dramatic. I have learned to be open to the fact that the way my family did things was just that... the way we did them. Not necessarily right or wrong. Challenge yourself to see differences for just that and stay out of the trap of thinking, "my family did it right". After about 10 years of marriage I have grown to be more similar to this family that I've been married to. I have become a more balanced individual because of them and I love them! It truly is an opportunity for growth.

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There are those times that couples feel their marriage is not working and so they need to save it. Are things getting thick in your marriage and you want to save it? If you or your partner is thinking about ending the relationship, then your relationship has got some problems that should be addressed. Ending the relationship is not the best choice to make especially if you haven't talked out the problems affecting you and your partner.

It is always advisable to give it a try by having a talk with your partner. Communication in a relationship is very important. Without partners communicating to each other many problems are likely to arise and they will not be addressed. Problems make it difficult for a marriage to work out. I assure you today that you can save your marriage. So, how are you going to save it?

I have already mentioned above that one of the causes why breakup occurs in relationships is due to partners failing to communicate with one another. Even if you have feelings that you have really done all you could do to save your marriage you should never give up easily. Take a step and start reviving the communication that you had with your partner while dating, courting and during the early days of your marriage. Once you get a positive respond from your partner you can initiate a conversation with your partner about the issues affecting your marriage.

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Some spouses when faced with problems in their marriage are tempted to compare themselves with other couples. This is a mistake that you should avoid. Your partner will be hurt when you tell him or her to be like so and so. It makes your partner not feel appreciated. You are simply putting pressure on your partner to be someone else and this is impossible for your partner to do. Save your marriage by not comparing your partner with another person who is married. You should also not compare yourself with other couples. So, what happens when you compare your marriage with other people's marriages? Your marriage will come up short and this makes you not to be content with your partner. You will be looking at other people's marriages from outside and this can be misleading in that some couples could be representing themselves as being in a stable marriage than they are actually.

Avoid keeping secrets from your partner. Revealing important matters to your partner will save your marriage from breaking up. Secrets have made couples to divorce and they should not make you to break up with your partner. Reveal all to your partner and if you have any deep resentment against your partner that you have been carrying all along it is better that you should let it go.

When you get angry or get hurt by your partner you should never use stubborn ways to get your point across. Instead of giving your partner ultimatums you should use amicable ways of solving things with your partner. Amicable ways of solving issues with your partner will help you to save your marriage.

When you have big issues in your marriage like your partner cheating on you or love in your marriage is diminishing then seeing a psychologist or counselor will help you and your partner to save your marriage. Counseling is very important for couples.

Saving your marriage doesn't have to be something that is complicated and there are many ways you can use to dramatic improve your marriage. Let your relationship with your partner be your priority and steer it towards the right direction of living happily ever thereafter.

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What Does it Take to Stay Married?

No One Answer Fits All

Getting married is the easy part. Staying married is where the challenge lies. To make a marriage work, the full range of thoughts, feelings and actions have to be on call. All of our faculties have to be be employed and yet success is not assured. In short, there is no simple answer to the question what does it take to stay married. In today's environment, staying married is being viewed as a rather challenging task with the increasing cases of divorce, separation and even outright abandonment. It appears to have become so easy and "fashionable" thanks to the influence of the media and the people who provide the appropriate content for it. Marriage is about responsibility, it is about character and it is about so many other things that really matter. Sadly, that is not what is being generally conveyed.

It Takes Commitment. It Needs Effort.

Married couples, especially those without children, are so quick to say that they have had enough. Those with children might perhaps take a little longer before they come to this stage. What happened? Lack of understanding? Money? No joint effort? Breakdown in communication? One party slogging away while the other just keeps cruising around? Was all this not considered before the fact? "Yes, we did, but we did not know that it would turn out this way" would most probably be the answer. In reality, very little turns up the way one imagined it would. Stress, work, relationships, affairs and so many other factors all have an effect on how things actually turn out to be. So what should be the response? Walk away from it? Work it out? The answer lies in the strength of the initial commitment to the marriage. Was it just based on a narrow, short term vision or a broad and well thought out long term perspective? Was the initial drive just physical with no strong emotional bonds? We need to be reminded that staying together and being married are two different things. In being married, a couple undertakes to see things through no matter what the challenges.

Apply Skills. Keep Working. Keep Learning.

There are couples who have been married for ages and still manage to keep the fire burning. It may have taken on different shades but nonetheless, the fire is still there. It has not been extinguished. How do they do it? They remember their commitment to one another. They keep discovering themselves. They learn new ways of managing the relationship including physical intimacy. They have done what it takes and simply worked at being happy together. They have understood fully well that marriages are partnerships and that partners need to be supportive of one another. Marriages need love, patience, understanding, humour, spirituality and a bit of everything else. Is it all there? Do the parties need more skills to resolve issues? Greater passion to stoke the fire? If it is lacking, are they prepared to learn? If they do, then they are indeed on the way to making their marriages better.

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The aim of marriage counselling should be to help couple move towards a conscious marriage. A definition of this would be a marriage that allows the opportunity for maximum psychological and spiritual growth by becoming conscious of and cooperating with the basic goals of the unconscious mind: to be safe, to be healed and to be whole.

1. The hidden purpose of marriage is to heal childhood wounds.

This involves helping individuals recognize their unresolved childhood issues and how these issues underlie their current behaviour and emotions. This will help people to transcend their surface needs and desires and provide them with great insight into their everyday interactions.

2. Creating a more accurate image of a persons' partner.

People tend to fuse their lover with their primary caretaker and then project their own negative traits onto their partner. In a conscious marriage these illusions gradually become shattered and one begins to see their partner as they really are; another wounded person struggling to be healed.

3. A person takes responsibility for communicating their needs and desires to their partner.

In an unconscious marriage a person expects their partner to intuitively meet their needs. A conscious marriage involves the understanding that needs require clear communication.

4. Your interactions become more intentional.

A conscious marriage entails behaving in a more constructive manner as opposed to merely reacting without thinking.

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5. An individual values their partners' needs as much as their own.

More energy is devoted to looking after ones' partner instead of mistakenly assuming that the role of the partner is to look after ones' every wish and desire.

6. A person embraces their negative traits.

The individual openly acknowledges the fact that they have a dark side to their personality, just like everyone else. By accepting this, a person is less likely to project these negative traits onto their partner, which serves to create a more pleasant environment.

7. New methods are learned to satisfy ones' basic needs and desires.

When couples are locked in a power struggle, the partners tend to use negative tactics in an attempt to coerce the other to meet their needs. In a conscious marriage this can be transcended and a realization develops that the partner can help one meet their needs but only when more constructive and cooperative tactics are employed.

8. A person will learn to look inwards for the strengths and abilities they are lacking.

Partners are chosen because an individual can see in them all the abilities and strengths that they do not have. This then leads to an illusory sense of wholeness. However, in a conscious marriage a person learns that wholeness results from finding these positive traits within themselves.

9. An awareness develops of the motivation to become loving, whole and at one with the universe.

Everyone has the God-given ability to love unconditionally and experience the unity of nature and the world. However, due to imperfect parenting and social conditioning these qualities are almost all but forgotten. A conscious marriage provides the opportunity to rediscover these qualities and experience ones' original nature.

10. The fact that creating a conscious marriage is difficult is accepted.

Typically, in an unconscious marriage, a person feels that a successful relationship involves being with the right person. In a conscious marriage, a person comes to the realization that they are with the right partner. Further, an understanding begins to develop that a good marriage requires constant hard work, courage and commitment.

Saying or doing the wrong thing can actually cause your spouse to feel even more distant from you. You can make your spouse fall back in love with you, all over again.

You don't have to worry about whether your spouse is on the brink of asking you for a divorce. You can control the situation and use specific techniques to naturally make them fall hopelessly in love with you.

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