Meddling Inlaws

Marriage. A new life together, Just the two of us?
Well so we thought. Too often the meddling in-laws start sticking their nose in or one of the spouses runs home to Mummy and Daddy at the first hint of trouble in the marriage.
Why do you think there are so many In-law jokes, actually there is no relationship that has more jokes attributed to it. These jokes can defiantly be funny, but in reality an in-law to close with no set boundaries is no joke at all and is the cause of all sorts of marriage problems.
When we enter into marriage we have expectations on the various roles each of us will play eg: finances, children, around the home. These sometimes take a bit of ironing out as we go but with good communication a good partnership is formed. Teamwork.
However, In-laws that are too close either emotionally or geographically can impose or push the boundaries too far on their amount of input regarding decisions to be made by the couple. Will they both work, have children, how many. These are emotional decisions so interfering can cause conflict.
We will all experience this so we need to learn to deal with it together not go running to Mummy or a Husband that disappears to the parents couch after an argument.
A parent will mostly naturally side with their child so should not be a mediator in a dispute as it is hard to remain objective. Sometimes conflict is healthy for a husband and wife as it teaches to be able to resolve situations by working through it together.
A child is where it really can become a problem if not addressed from the beginning. The innocent Grandparent is one of the great examples, especially because is generally good natured. The little "Oh don't discipline him he didn't mean to do it. It is well intentioned but completely undermines the parent's authority especially in front of the child. An in-law can interfere even more if you choose to bring up your child under a whole different set of rules and standards than your upbringing.
We have all had to learn how to deal with meddling in-laws. Communication about touchy subjects like this can be a challenge. Communication is just one of the many marriage subjects taught by Rob & Tess Davis of MarriageMap.
Dean Nicholl


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