My Husband's Family Is Ruining Our Marriage (9 Wise Tips)

by April Maccario

The issue of in-laws interfering in marriages has lingered for quite a long time now. Often times we hear that parents still cannot stay off their children’s marriages; they are controlling, have unannounced visits, and can’t even let their kids have some good alone time together. 

This goes beyond just ordinary parental interference in marriage to a whole new level of parental dictatorship, and manipulation.

Furthermore, a newly released study has argued that men who are in good terms with their wives’ family stand a chance of enjoying a long-lasting marriage than wives who are not in a good relationship with their in-laws. 

This argument, however, forms the basis of this article, which is on how your partners’ family is interfering in your relationship. You may be very distressed as to why they keep working tirelessly to ruin your marriage. Also, you might be thinking of the best course of action to take in this kind of situation. 

This article is just what you need, I will discuss the most likely reason your in-laws persistently interfere in your relationship, and what to do when things seem more complicated.

Why Do They Interfere?

1. Embracing reality 

This is, perhaps, the most common reason why parents still hover around their kids’ relationships. Most parents find it difficult to accept the reality of life; that the little boy or girl they once saw run around naked is now all grown, and can take a whole life decision on his own. This is the part they find hard to adjust to

In the case of in-laws, you realize that they are scared of an external body (the wife), coming to fill so much space in their little boy’s life. They forget that this is the reality of things, it has always been like this. A man would always leave his father and mother and become one with his wife.

However, this reluctance in embracing the reality of life has gone as far as trying to ruin a lot of marriages, and in most cases, has even succeeded. Women bear the heavier burden of this unnecessary and self-imposing attitude from in-laws.  

2. Motherly jealousy

Recent studies have proven that mothers and sons share a quite unique and strong bond, regardless of age and status. Some males, develop a rather "unhealthy bond" with their mothers as they grow older, and this gives rise to the phrase "mama’s boy". 

Motherly jealousy

It is this kind of unhealthy bond that breeds the ‘motherly jealousy’ in your relationship. Your mother-in-law in this scenario may be jealous of you. They do not find it easy to share their lovely son with a total stranger. This feeling of jealousy is ignited by the fear that they will no longer have as much control, or get the same kind of attention they used to get from their son. 

This is the reason these kinds of mothers-in-law interfere, and even try to ruin your relationship, Jealousy! Most mothers do not want to be replaced in their son’s life. 

3. Over-protective parents

If you are getting married to a man who is already dealing with the unnecessary protective nature of his parents, then, be rest assured, marriage is not going to stop them from frequently interfering in his life, and perhaps, your relationship as well. 

Most parents who are overprotective of their children do this because they do not consider them mature enough to handle life issues. These parents think the world is too dangerous for their children to survive in, and therefore, they need to constantly assist and monitor the things in their life. 

Even after their son has gotten married, they still feel like they should be the ones to advise, protect and guide him through important decisions, therefore insisting on frequent and unannounced visits, unruly interference, and self-imposing behaviors. 

4. You were not their choice

It’s possible that your in-laws already had the perfect girl they wanted their son to marry, until, of course, you came into the picture and ruined everything. This kind of issue is usually very complicated to handle. They might feel you’re not the best for him and feel like they know best when it comes to important life choices like this.

In this situation, such parents work tirelessly just to ruin your relationship, they speak badly about you to your husband, find faults in every little thing you do, and always compare you to other women. They can even go as far as asking your husband to divorce you for the slightest of reasons. 

Keep in mind that no one should come between what you have with your husband, the boundaries have to be drawn somewhere. However, it’s better your husband realizes what’s happening and sets them straight himself

How To Handle Parental interference

1. Set rules and boundaries

You and your husband need to clearly and effectively set out boundaries regarding visiting. Once you and your hubby agree on these rules, there is a need to communicate these rules to your in-laws. This will ensure that they do not visit without calling. 

Furthermore, all other rules and guidelines must be equally communicated to in clear terms them as well, so as to avoid any form of misunderstanding or misinterpretation. 

2. Set priorities

You and your husband need to set priorities in the marriage, understand that even though your in-laws can give some word of advice about your marriage, it is up to you guys to either take the advice or neglect them

It is important to understand that the success of your marriage is more important than your parent’s opinions or views. You and your husband should work towards achieving these goals rather than focusing on what or how they feel.

This does not, however, mean that you should be hostile to your in-laws, but what this means is that your marriage should be given ultimate priority in at all times. No one should dictate how you live or love, you should both have the freedom to chart your course independently.

3. Work as a team

There is a saying that goes, ’united we stand, divided we fall,’ the importance of teamwork in marriage cannot be overemphasized. It is only through teamwork that over-protective parents can be defeated. You and your husband have to unanimously join hands together to resist the antics of your overbearing parents. 

Work as a team

A situation where your husband is on the side of your mother-in-law will only spell doom for you. This should never happen, as your mother-in-law will automatically be in control of your marriage. There must be unity and teamwork between you and your husband for things to work out. 

4. Communicate with your mother-in-law

There are only a few numbers of situations where good communication could not resolve. With that being said, opening the communication lines with your mother-in-law wouldn’t be such a bad idea. Sometimes, ask her out for a coffee or lunch, use that opportunity to communicate and be friends with her. 

Use this moment to prove to her that you are good enough to take care of her son, and she has nothing to worry about. There is, however, no guarantee that this will solve the problem, but I am confident that this would at least bring you a step closer to solving the problem. 

It is from this good line of communication that the real problem might be identified, note that this might not even be you

5. Ask your husband to communicate with her

If your communication link isn’t effective, then you should speak to your husband to start communicating with his mum. Note that this goes way beyond just the usual mother and son communication. This has to do with coming to terms with what the problem is between the mum and her daughter-in-law. 

There are really high hopes that this might work out, as mothers will always communicate freely with their sons, also, she will not want to upset her son. This approach, coupled with teamwork, will lead you to the problem, as well as, give insight into possible solutions. 

6. Be wise and subtle in response

In this context, being wise means acting intelligently in a whole lot of situations. One of these involves taking your mother-in-laws critics as good motherly advice and responding softly to whatever she says. This intelligent behavior will always leave her speechless and not having any more to say to you. 

Using responses like ‘that’s an interesting perspective, I’ll look into it immediately’’ or, ‘’I see where you are coming from… let me take it from there’’. Words like this will make you walk blameless before her. Instead of saying “I hate my husband’s family,” it might be time to find strategic ways to make peace with them.

7. Don’t let her cross her boundaries

As much as it is important to be wise and always respond to your mother-in-law softly, it is equally important that you do not let her cross her boundaries. By this, I mean, you must be bold and swift enough to stand up to her politely each time she attempts to do too much. 

It is important that you do this as often as possible, as this will send a clear message to her that certain places should not be threaded upon. Keeping mute will only encourage her to do the most. 

8. Be respectful

In all of these, it is very important that you do not appear as ‘the disrespectful’ daughter-in-law. When communicating with her, your priority should be to sell yourself to her as a modest, humble, and respectful daughter-in-law. Also, when calling her out, regardless of how upset you might be at the moment, it is necessary to come out as respectful and polite as possible. 

In an event where you were pushed too far and you had to let your mind out without a filter, you must immediately apologize and try to make amends. There is really no wisdom in disrespecting your mother-in-law or any elderly person for that matter. 

9. Do not compete with your in-laws

This tip is in itself, explanatory, women generally are always in competition with each other. However, it is important that this characteristic does not display itself within the family. Your mother-in-law or sister-in-law may want to get you jealous or uncomfortable in your marital home. It is important that you ignore their antics and focus on your relationship and making it grow. 

FAQs

When in-laws affect your marriage?

If you are getting married to a ’mama’s boy’, then you should get ready for a whole lot of drama from him and his mother. They always have a tendency of running to mummy at the slightest opportunity. Also, if your in-laws are overprotective of their son, then, there is a high possibility that they will try to impose their presence in your relationship. To make matters worse, if you were not their choice for their son, that alone gives them sleepless nights. 

Why does my husband act differently around his family? 

This situation may be related to how he was brought up by his parents. If his parents were usually strict and harsh on him, he will not be so free with you when they are around. He will always want to act in a way that will please his parents, not minding if that sits well with you or not. As a lady, it is important that you, while adjusting to this type of behavior, try to talk to him about it as well.

How many marriages end in divorce because of in-laws? 

As a matter of fact, research has found that in-laws cause about 60 percent of arguments in marriages, and 22 percent confirmed that they could file for divorce. These figures are quite mind-blowing. This goes to show that families play a significant role in the success or failure of their children’s marriages. 

What do you do when your husband chooses his family over you? 

This situation is usually very complicated, the most appropriate thing to do is try getting along with his family, establish a good communication link with them, and adjust to the current situation. However, it is important that you do not allow them to cross their boundaries. You and your husband must unanimously set rules and boundaries that will limit their activities. 

Who comes first in marriage, Mother, or Wife? 

Regardless of what perspective people are coming from, the wife must always come first before the mother. This is your home and your relationship, his mother has done her time. It is wrong for your husband to put his mother before you. If he does this, it only goes to show that he does not love and respect you as his wife, talk more of the mother of his kids. this doesn’t mean she should be disrespected though.

In A Nutshell...

Parental interference in their children’s marriages has been a major cause of concern over the past years. With over 60 percent of argument in marriages caused by this interference and over 22% likely to end in divorce, it goes to show that parents are really doing the most lately. 

If you found this article helpful, feel free to share it, and leave your views or contributions in the comment box below. 

April Maccario
I'm a huge nerd when it comes to understanding how relationships between men and women work, and what drives a certain behavior. I spend much of my time getting into the nitty-gritty and try to share my findings on this site with the hope of making life a little easier for women that are struggling in their relationships or love life.

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